Why White-tailed

How the White-tailed Kite earned its name wasn’t obvious to me until I saw this young one flashing its tail feathers on a small tree in the Nature Area on the north side of the park. The tail feathers are a brilliant white.

Why the bird flashes its tail like this, I have no idea. I’ve not seen it before. The standard sources — Wikipedia, Cornell, Audubon — make no mention of this behavior. Birds sometimes engage in showy displays for courtship, but there was no other bird of this species within range. Maybe this bird was just practicing?

White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)

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