Amelia Island revealed . . .

Photographs by Hal and Kirsten Snyder
Information from Bill George
June 18, 2022

A Mississippi Kite visits Florida in May. Photo courtesy of Hal and Kirsten Snyder
A Mississippi Kite guards its nest. Photo courtesy of Hal and Kirsten Snyder
A Mississippi Kite collects small twigs for its nest. Photo courtesy of Hal and Kirsten Snyder

The Snyder husband and wife team have always loved photography, birds, and being outdoors. When asked who took each photo, Kirsten said they swap their camera so often they don’t always know. Kirsten and Hal started their website in 2008, focused on bird photography and other interests, to share the amazing sights they witnessed in nature.

The Snyders now call Amelia Island home having retired here in 2014. They donate images and book proceeds to non-profit environmental groups and are published in books, magazines, and calendars around the world. While it is certain that they will continue to miss more wonderful shots than they capture, the thrill of watching the beauty of flight will always remain.

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Information by By Bill George
Amelia Island Bird Club

Our profile bird this week is the Mississippi Kite which is a summer resident in our area from May through August. We usually do not see this bird species on our trips unless we have one in May. On my daily bird walk in my neighborhood, I noticed a bird flying behind me and realized it was a Kite flying into a nest high in the Pine tree. I contacted Hal and Kirsten Snyder since we had recently discussed we had never found a nest for this species.

The Synders took great photos on May 10th and 12th of the pair of Kites building their nest. The photos are showing the gathering of nest materials and the Kite guarding its nest.

While observing the pair they had to fight off crows, hawks, and even an Immature Mississippi Kite. Please note the Kite flying since we usually only observe them in flight. They are acrobatic in terms of their flight chasing dragonflies and other insects. The adults have a black tail and white secondaries on the upper wing. During the last week, I did not observe any activity near or on the nest but this morning noticed a black tail sticking out of the nest. Later I noticed a Kite flying above the nest area.