Mississippi Kite Development

1. July 1
2. July 1
3. July 6
4. July 7
5. July 10
6. July 12
7. July 15
8. July 19
9. July 22
10. July 24
11. july 28

Photo series by
Elaine Peterson Long
TexasMississippi Kite
1 & 2
26 grams
Age: 2-4 days
July 2nd, 2005
38 grams
White down longer length is tinged in a peach color;
head is all white & body is the peach color
Whistle begging call
Very alert; cere & gape flange is yellow orange;
beak is black; black eye mask;
orange legs & feet that are short in length
Full spectrum light is available daily for 1-3 hours
July 3rd, 2005
46 grams
July 4th, 2005
54 grams
Lifting head and attempting to stand
Peach/buff down is becoming very thick

July 5th, 2005
64 grams
Dark pigment showing at fingers, wrist & humerus area
Very alert and able to slice mutes across the incubator
Mouth: roof is black, tongue is gray/black;
legs are orange & cere is yellow
Photo 3 July 6th, 2005
82 grams
Pin feathers are beginning to break through the skin
Photo 4 July 7th, 2005
92 grams

Pin feathers emerging on fingers
July 8th, 2005
106 grams
Jumped out of the nest for the first time
July 9, 2005
118 grams
Photo 5 July 10th, 2005
138 grams
Photo 6

July 12th, 2005
144 grams
Casted first pellet & looked surprised when it came out of the mouth!
Down is very wooly & thick;
Primary sheathing is unfurling on the wing tips
July 13th, 2005
160 grams
Standing more erect & attempting to perch on the edge of the nest.
Began to pick up food from a dish
Photo 7 July 15th, 2005
188 grams
Feathers are unfurling;
self feeding Hands off time;
only cleaning habitat and leaving food available 2- 3 times per day.
Diet is chopped mice parts, crickets, superworms & mealworms.
Seems to prefer the insects.
July17th, 2005
210 grams
Self-feeding; gripping with feet & talons;
moving around much more in the habitat
& beginning to do a chirping call rather than the feeding call;
tail feathers are unfurling
Photos 8 July 19th, 2005
Photo 9 July 22nd, 2005
220 grams
First perching on a low branch!
A bit wobbly but standing very tall!
Photo 10 July 24th, 2005
254 grams
Weight is plateau;
practicing vocalization call that is not the begging whistles.
Since the bird has begun to perch,
it is not getting off of the perch to self feeding.
Semi-hand feeding.
Prefers insects over the chopped mice when self feeding.
Will take chopped mice from forceps.
Photo 11 July 28th, 2005
258 grams

NOTES: This bird’s diet has been comprised of varied insects including: superworms, mealworms, thawed crickets and chopped mice. In the beginning the mice were skinned and no fur added. Full spectrum light has been available daily; vitamin/mineral supplement along with the whole foods have made up the diet. The development of the neonate has been “normal”. As soon as the bird became self-feeding, I have done as much hands off to avoid any imprinting or habituation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Linda Hufford, thank you for transporting the kite to College Station for placement with Ed Sones!

Thank you to Ed Sones for assisting with the rehab, care & transport of Mississippi Kite admission # 016861 from TWRC.

Carol Mitchell-Lee, thank you for accepting the Mississippi Kite for rehab care of flight conditioning, prey training and release.