KittyhawkGA

White-tailed Kite in Georgia

11 posts in this topic

It is a long shot but I am now posting this here with hope that someone else out there may have a better clue...

I am wondering if anyone out there have spotted white-tailed kite in NW of Georgia, in Bartow County near the stretch of highway 140 and 41 meet. I work in Adairsville so I am in this area Mon-Friday of the week. The same exact spot where F3 tornado hit a week and a half ago.

3 times I saw a bird right off highway 41 which I didn't know what it was at the time of sightings.. Once it flew right over me, less than 20 feet above the ground and landed into grassy area off the highway while I was on the passenger seat traveling toward north and twice on the electric wire while I was driving on the same highway. I said 3 times but I didn't conclude the 3 sightings were of the same bird until days later after I began to try figuring out what they were.

The first sighting, when it flew over me, I saw the distinguish 2 black round patches underneath the wings right by the wrist . And the belly had no color pattern and was in solid off white color. Outer wing (underneath) was greyish color and it was about the size of hawks. There are lots of hawks in the area and I see them all the time.

2 other sightings, it was sitting on the utility wire. What was strikingly different from hawks was it had a white face and reddish eyes. All 3 sightings took place in January last year.

According to my birding book, I can not find birds that fit descriptions of the one I saw. ... except white-tailed kite particularly for 2 black round patches by the wrist (underneath) which, I know they are not found in this area.

I am wondering and would like to know if anyone out there had spotted white-tailed kite in Adairsville/Bartow area before...? I wasn't carrying a camera to work and I did not take picture of the bird. The picture I am posting here is not taken by me but it looked exactly like it.

Please pardon me for my lengthy post and thank you for your time to read it...

post-17980-0-75572400-1360472223_thumb.jpg

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How many days has it been around the area? Would like to see it and photograph it. It's a life bird for me.

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Hi Sdearth,

Thank you for your post. All 3 sightings were in January last year just north of the intersection where #140 and #41 meet. Actually, these sightings of this bird prompted me to purchase a better quality camera... in attempt to take some pictures of it but I never go up to Adairsville in the weekend..(off work)

1st sighting happened around 12PM and other 2 happened about 5:15PM...

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It was January last year in 2012. And yes, I know I should have gone out there in my off work time with my bin and a camera....but I just never have :mellow:

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How would you describe the habitat?

WTKI in Georgia is unlikey, particularly in Bartow (the species winters in Florida, so it's more expected they'd show up farther south in January), but not impossible.

Another possibility you may want to look at is Short-eared Owl. It is within range and has a black marking on the underwing by the wrist.

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Based on the opinions of several birders in Georgia on the "WingsoverGeorgia" web site, the White tailed Kite is one of the species they expect to be the "next" new bird in Georgia.

http://www.wingsoverga.com/GeorgiaNext10NewBirds.html

So, even though it is out of range, many knowledgeable people expect that it may be seen in the future. Here is the quote from that web site...

White-tailed Kite
– Another wandering western vagrant, this species interestingly boasts a small isolated breeding population in South Florida. It has shown up all along the Gulf Coast and even in the Carolinas. According to the ACOGB, this bird was listed in LeConte’s 1849 list of Georgia birds, and a report was made from Brasstown Bald in 1962 but was not accepted by the GOS Checklist and Records Committee (GCRC).

So I don't think it is totally out of the question, but would definitely be a rare find!

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How would you describe the habitat?

WTKI in Georgia is unlikey, particularly in Bartow (the species winters in Florida, so it's more expected they'd show up farther south in January), but not impossible.

Another possibility you may want to look at is Short-eared Owl. It is within range and has a black marking on the underwing by the wrist.

Pictures don't lie son! :P

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There is no picture (of the bird in question). The picture he uploaded was just an example of a White-tailed Kite.

"I am wondering and would like to know if anyone out there had spotted white-tailed kite in Adairsville/Bartow area before...? I wasn't carrying a camera to work and I did not take picture of the bird. The picture I am posting here is not taken by me but it looked exactly like it."

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There is no picture (of the bird in question). The picture he uploaded was just an example of a White-tailed Kite.

"I am wondering and would like to know if anyone out there had spotted white-tailed kite in Adairsville/Bartow area before...? I wasn't carrying a camera to work and I did not take picture of the bird. The picture I am posting here is not taken by me but it looked exactly like it."

Oopsie doopsie...
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How would you describe the habitat?

WTKI in Georgia is unlikey, particularly in Bartow (the species winters in Florida, so it's more expected they'd show up farther south in January), but not impossible.

Another possibility you may want to look at is Short-eared Owl. It is within range and has a black marking on the underwing by the wrist.

Short-eared Owl has brown streaky patterns on its' chest but the bird I saw had no streaks and the black marking by the wrist are also wrong shape. For those reasons, I ruled out Short-eared Owl..

Habitat in the area I mentioned is open grassy field surrounded by heavily wooded hills, small rivers, ponds and lakes. There are lots of other raptors as well.

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