These birds have a fairly limited range in the US, and we’ve not encountered them before. I’m told the paper-and-wood toy we fly was named for this bird…
Besides looking quite elegant, they have interesting behavior when they hunt…they “hover” above a field, and look down for their prey. Because they perch in lone trees in open fields, I’ve had quite a time catching them in action. Here’s a sequence of hovering.
One day I got real lucky, near the end of the day when light was beginning to dim, when I stumbled upon this pair of kites. They seemed nearly oblivious of me…probably because they were in the midst of an aerial mating dance!
It’s been a lot of fun to watch these birds…nearly every day, because they hang out along a stretch of road that we frequently travel!