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White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) by Twan Leenders

Posted on Dec 27, 2013

Here’s one for Throwback Thursday, a White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)! Well, sort of. Back in 2010 I had the honor of hosting thousands of birders for nearly 2.5 months from across the continent as they came to Stratford Point in Stratford, Connecticut to see the state’s first White-tailed Kite when Twan and I worked for Connecticut Audubon Society. I learned more about that individual than I ever could have imagined as I observed it for hundreds of hours nearly every day. It was the first for New England since the only other recorded occurred 100 years earlier at Martha’s Vineyard for one day. I actually took the first photograph of CT’s bird on August 1, 2010, and therefore the first for the species ever in the region, shortly after it was found by Dennis Varza. This particular photo is from last week in Costa Rica where Twan and Sean enjoyed watching this bird in the classic hunting form.