Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mississippi Kite nest fails by tree collapse

Last week, I serendipitously spotted a Mississippi Kite sitting on a nest in River Ridge, 38 feet up in a Live Oak, in a front yard.  I revisited it for a few days, during which time an adult was sitting on it consistently.

Tuesday morning, a huge section of the tree fell- including the portion with the nest.  Jeff Parish cleaned the mess up before I could search for nest remains, but I am sure that the eggs (or small nestlings if hatched) were destroyed in the fall.  No idea about an adult that might have been sitting there at the time.

The freaky thing is that there was no inclement weather event to cause the huge piece of trunk to fail.  A large portion of the tree had fallen last year in Isaac, so perhaps that had made it vulnerable and stresses had accumulated to where a tiny influence caused it to fail.

Oddly, I was told of another weather-induced raptor nest failure earlier this spring.  The Red-shouldered Hawk nest between the Jeff Parish high rise buildings in Elmwood was destroyed by high winds, probably before it had eggs.  They seem to have not rebuilt, although they hang in the area.

Below is a pic of the kite standing on the edge of the nest.

By the way, it was taken with a pair of photo-binoculars from The Sharper Image that was given to me for Father's Day.  As per review, they seem to not be up to par with a normal SLR camera for quality pics (less crisp), but they are very light weight and quick to use- I think they are handy for documenting sightings.  Being light weight makes them easier to carry around, so easier to keep them handy for when documentation is needed quickly.


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