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Another ‘hugging’ bird

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Thursday, December 23, 2010 

Related to my last post, I have to mention another bird that elicits hugs -- the Swallow-tailed Kite. For me, they are the most mesmerizing bird in flight….perfectly graceful. On the 6th of May 1993, I witnessed one ‘float’ past the Sandy Hook Hawk Watch in New Jersey and out over the bay towards Long Island, New York…a celebrated bird in NJ. As the bird disappeared into the distance, I turned to the only other person (Linda, since forgot her last name) watching with me that day, and she already had her arms open for a hug! I saw Linda 10 years later while I was counting hawks at Cape May, and the first thing she said was "remember that Swallow-tailed Kite?" Over 17 years later, I can still picture that bird approaching with its beautifully long, tapered, droopy wings, and a tail that appeared as 2 ‘streamers’ trailing behind it. Even more memorable was its effortless, buoyant flight as it never once flapped or wavered on its way north.


Blogger Tim Avery said...

AH, what a beauty. This is the only Kite species I have seen, and my encounter lasted only a couple seconds as one soared over a baseball diamond I was playing at in Florida during college. It was an awesome sight seeing those tail streamers!

December 24, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Jeff Bilsky said...

These birds are pretty amazing. I found a group of them when I was in Florida in the summer of 2008. Here's a link to some video I was able to take:CLICK

December 26, 2010 at 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Liguori said...

Love the video Jeff, shows how every move they make seems effortless. They are just so great to see in flight. Thanks for posting the video. I have some bird videos at


if anyone is interested,

December 26, 2010 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Ryan O'Donnell said...

I saw my lifer Swallow-tailed Kite fly over during the outdoor session of a class in Costa Rica last spring. It made me want to hug someone, too, but no one else noticed, and I didn't want to interrupt the instructor. . . .

January 3, 2011 at 9:57 AM  

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