Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Swallow-tailed Kite   Elanoides fortficatus

The Swallow-tailed Kite has two subspecies: northern (e.f.forficatus) and southern (e.f. yetapa).  The northern subspecies, which is the one we see in Florida, breeds in the southerneastern United States and winters in South America.  

Most of the U.S. Population breeds in Florida.  These birds start arriving in late February and March. They start nesting from the end of March through April.  Young birds appear during the months of April, May, and June.  After the breeding season is completed, large groups of these birds start to gather at staging roosts in south Florida, usually in late July.  They start their migration south in August.