Monday, December 29, 2008
12 subspecies of Vermillion Flycatchers have been identified.
The male presents an insect to the female before copulation.
If kept in captivity male Vermillion Flycatchers tend to lose their bright red plumage.
A group of flycatchers is called a “zapper” of flycatchers.
A breeding male Vermillion Flycatcher spends approximately 90% of the day perched.
#13 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
The Yellow-billed Cuckoo occasionally lays an egg in the nest of other birds.
Young cuckoos develop more quickly than almost all other songbirds.
Both parents build the nest, incubate the eggs, and care for the nestlings.
Yellow-billed Cuckoos migrate at night in small to large flocks.
Yellow-billed Cuckoos nest low to the ground to about 12 feet.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
A polarizing filter was used in the first photo but not used in the second photo. Look at the changes in the reflection of the water and the increase of saturation in the leaves in the upper right hand corner of the photo.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I photographed this area of the creek from in the water. Coming in the morning would give better and warmer lighting so I will be making a trip back here when the conditions are better.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- Reddish Egrets are known for their “dancing” while they feed. They use their shadow of their wings to drive prey in front of them.
- Reddish Egret populations where severely damaged during the 1800’s when they were hunted for their feathers. They were actually completely extirpated from Florida at one point.
- Reddish Egrets nest in colonies with other herons that are typically located on coastal islands
- Today, Reddish Egrets are threatened by the destruction of coastal habitat.
- There are two forms of the Reddish Egret, White and Dark. While 2 dark phase adults can have white chicks, 2 white phase adults can never have a dark phase chick.
- Western Grebes nest in large colonies consisting of hundreds of birds, typically on large inland lakes.
- A group of grebes is known as a “water dance.”
- Western Grebes are the largest North American grebe species.
- Western Grebes build their nest on the water and hold it in place by attaching it to reeds.
- Western Grebes are unable to walk on land due to the placement of their legs.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Two of the situations occurred on the same day at the same lakefront park in Cleveland, Ohio. In the morning, someone drove a vehicle through a group of gulls sitting in the parking lot. This resulted in the death of at least 20 Ring-billed Gulls and the injury of a number of others. No one saw this happen and the individual that did this will undoubtedly go unpunished for this disgusting crime.
The second situation occurred at the same park and is just as disturbing if not more so. A birder observed two men pull up get out of their truck corner and catch a Canada Goose, kill it and proceed to dump the dead goose in a dumpster and drive away. While there is a description of the vehicle and the individuals that committed this crime, it is unlikely that they will ever be caught. Luckily for them, their license plate was covered by snow and the birder that viewed this incident was unable to record the plate number.
These two situations point to a much larger problem. Both of these crimes are a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act but this legislation carries such a weak penalty that it is hardly a deterrent to people who have no respect for wildlife. Currently if you are caught in violation of this act, you are subject to at most a misdemeanor that carries a maximum of a $15000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. While that may seem like a lot, courts rarely hand out these penalties. The courts have so many felony cases, that such a “small” misdemeanor hardly ever gets much attention.
In November of 2007, a bill was introduced to the United State Congress that would finally give the Migratory Bird Treaty Act some teeth. It would make any intentional killing of a bird in violation of the act a felony with a maximum fine of $50,000 and a one year prison sentence. Any other violation would also be a felony with a maximum $25,000 and a six month prison sentence. While this is a much better deterrent, little can be accomplished without additional policing. These proposed changes do little if there are not more people out actively seeking to catch and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The Trumpeter and Tundra Swans are very similar in appearance while the Mute is easily distinguished from these two. The main difference between the Mute and the other two is that the Mute Swan has an orange bill. Also the Mute Swan usually swims with a more gently “S” curved neck than the other two swan species. At times when the bill is not visible, for example when flying overhead or when sleeping, the identification can be more difficult. In both of these situations look for the long tail of the Mute Swan to differentiate it. In flight the legs will not stick out past the tail tip in the Mute Swan. When on the ground the Mute and Tundra Swans have an uneven rounded back that is humped much closer to the tail than the neck. In the Trumpeter the hump is almost directly in between the neck and tail.
The differences in Trumpeter from Tundra Swans can be very subtle but with the knowledge of a couple key features most can be identified. The Tundra Swan has a spot of yellow on the lores that the Trumpeter does not have. This field mark can be difficult to discern at times depending on the lighting and viewing distance. The bill shape differs as well. The Tundra Swan has a concave upper mandible making the Tundra’s head and bill look much more sloping than the Trumpeter’s.
No matter which swan species you see remember to enjoy it as these birds are as graceful and beautiful as any.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
#3 – Blackburnian Warbler
- The Blackburnian Warbler only form flocks during migration and are solitary on their wintering grounds.
- The Blackburnian Warbler is the only North American warbler with an orange throat.
- While Blackburnian Warblers are typically insectivores, they will eat berries on their wintering grounds.
- Due to the height of their nests, there is little know about their breeding ecology.
- Blackburnian Warblers are depended on spruce trees on their breeding grounds.
#14 - Chestnut-collared Longspur
- A group of longspurs is known as a “drive.”
- Chestnut-collared Longspurs prefer to nest in areas that have been recently grazed or mowed.
- Longspur refers to the elongated claw of the hind tow.
- Chestnut-collared Longspur numbers have decreased as native prairie habitat has been destroyed.
- Chestnut-collared Longspurs nest twice during their breeding season from the beginning of May to the end of July.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
#3 - Whooping Crane
- Whooping Crane populations have been rising over the past few years. While there were only 100 Whooping Cranes left in the world in 1987, that number had grown to 468 by 2004.
- Whooping Cranes are territorial on both their wintering and breeding grounds.
- Whooping Cranes are the tallest North American bird.
- Whooping Cranes live between 22 and 24 years in the wild.
- While many people believe that cranes dance to attract a mate that is not true. Dancing is a normal part of crane development that thwarts aggression, relieves tension and strengthens crane pairs bonds.
#14 - Wilson’s Phalarope
- Unlike most other bird species, females are larger and more colorful than males.
- After laying their eggs, the females leave the males to incubate the eggs and they begin their migration.
- Once they hatch, the young catch food on their own and are not feed by the adults.
- The Wilson’s is the largest of the phalaropes.
- The Wilson's Phalarope swims in circles to stir up food but does not swim in deep bodies of water like the other phalaropes.
- Wilson’s Phalaropes face a huge threat from the draining of the wetlands where they nest.
Friday, November 14, 2008
What to Look For on a Sitting Duck
Plumage Pattern: The pattern is very important and easily used on most species of waterfowl. It is very distinctive and easily used for identification on almost every species of waterfowl.
Shape: Shape can be very useful to separate between different families. Each family, a group of closely related species, can be separated from other families by shape. Many times identifying to species using shape is not possible but it does help in many cases.
Size: The size can be very useful to use when trying to rule out some species of waterfowl. Many times size is hard to judge but with practice and patience it becomes much easier to judge.
Female Mallard. Many times female ducks can be much harder to identify than the males.
Many species of waterfowl are migratory making their way from the northern United States and Canada to the southern and central states. During breeding season these species of waterfowl usually nest on small bodies of water and marshes. During migration most species use large bodies of water including the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, large and small lakes throughout the inland, and the Great Lakes. Many species use these same areas for wintering as well as migration.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- The young from the year before help their parents raise young the year after they are born.
- Green Jays are very bold and will often allow close approach.
- They will visit feeders that have oranges and jelly like an oriole.
- Green Jays are known to use tools such as sticks to find bugs to eat.
- There are two populations in Central and South America seperated by 900 miles that may represent seperate species.
#14 Wood Thrush
- Many people consider the song of a Wood Thrush as one of the most musical of all birds.
- Wood Thrushes return to their breeding grounds year after year.
- Brown-headed Cowbirds parasitize the nest of the Wood Thrush as much as any other species.
- It is the official bird of the District of Columbia.
- Forest fragmentation is a primary concern for conservationists studying the decline of the population
The first upset of the bird bracket occured last time with Anhinga beating Common Loon.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It has been a while in Indiana when there have actually been clouds in the sky during the sunrise or sunset so I was very happy on this morning when we had a good sunrise. This photo was taken on the first day of November even though it felt like it was summer as it was in the 60's.
Check out other Watery Wednesday Posts here.
Monday, November 3, 2008
#3 - Common Loon
- Common Loons are flightless for a few weeks after they lose all of their wing feathers at the same time.
- Loons occasionally land on wet roadways and become stranded because they need a large amount of open water to be able to takeoff.
- Common Loons can dive up to 200 feet under the water.
- Loons eyes can focus both in the air and in the water.
- Loon chicks ride on their parents backs until they can fly at approximately 11 weeks of age.
#14 - Anhinga
- Anhingas must spread their wings and dry themselves in the sun after swimming because they do not have oil glands for waterproofing as many other waterbirds do.
- Anhingas typically swim with only their neck and head out of the water while the rest of their body is submerged beneath the surface.
- Anhingas spear fish with their long bills.
- Anhingas are often seen soaring high in the air. They are great fliers and can go for long distances without having to flap their wings.
- The Anhinga is also known as the Water-Turkey because of its large wide turkey like tail.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Checkout more great SkyWatch Posts here.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
1. The Scarlet Tanager almost always builds its nest in a leaf cluster.
2. Many people describe the song of the Scarlet Tanager as a robin with a sore throat.
3. Scarlet Tanagers have been documented eating over 2000 gypsy moth caterpillars in an hour.
4. Breeding male Scarlet Tanagers molt into a plumage very similar to the drab yellow plumage of the female during the winter.
Picture of Scarlet Tanager
#15. Scott’s Oriole
1. The Scott’s Oriole very closely associates with Yucca. It uses Yucca for feeding and building its nest.
2. As all orioles do, the Scott’s Oriole builds a hanging nest.
3. The Scott’s Oriole is closely related to the blackbirds.
4. A group of orioles is known as a “pitch” or a “split” of orioles.
Picture of Scott’s Oriole
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This photo is of Sugar Creek from one of the overlooks.
We decided to take Trail 1 first which takes you on an easy hike through some mature forest. It takes you to a feature called the Devil’s Punch Bowl which is an amazing waterfall. Unfortunately for us there was very little water in this part of the creek. The trail then leads you to Silver Cascade Falls which is another awesome waterfall but there was just a trickle. After this the trail continues to Sugar Creek giving hikers two great views of the area. While we were overlooking the area we were able to watch two Bald Eagles, one adult and one young.
We than took parts of Trails 4 and 5. Both of these trails use ladders to get through some of the areas. These ladders are great fun to use and the ravines that you are hiking through are very beautiful and have great plant diversity. These trails lead to Sugar Creek but instead of giving overviews of the creek, they give you access to actually walk around the creek.
We then decided to go to another section of the park called Pine Hills Nature Preserve. This area is considered part of the state park but really borders the park making the protected area in the Sugar Creek watershed much larger. On the trail through the area you start at the top of a ridge and then descend down to the level of the creek. As we were making our way back towards the parking area we ran into a large flock of birds. I saw my first Red-breasted Nuthatches of the fall in a small group consisting of at least four individuals. We then found a couple Brown Creepers and both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets. I was also able to find my first Fox Sparrow and Pine Siskin in the same flock as well.
Burr Oak leaves against a log.
The area around Sugar Creek holds many treasures and if you have a chance to visit make the most of your time in this beautiful area.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The hot springs in Yellowstone National Park look like something from another world.
This Uinta Ground Squirrel was in Grand Teton National Park. It is one of the mammals that is a little less appreciated because of all of the big mammals in the park.
The sky with the clouds made for a beautiful setting while photographing the hot springs.
This picture is a small sections of one of the hot springs. The hot springs create many beautiful patterns.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
#2 - Swallow-tailed Kite
1. The Swallow-tailed Kite rarely flaps its wings while flying, but it almost continuously rotates its tail, often to nearly 90 degrees, in order to hold a heading, make a sharp turn, or trace tight circles while drifting across the sky.
2. The Swallow-tailed Kite frequently eats while flying.
3. The Swallow-tailed Kite drinks by skimming the surface and collecting water in its bill.
4. The Swallow-tailed Kite used to nest as far north as Minnesota but habitat destruction and shooting have reduced its range.
5. The Swallow-tailed Kite tolerates other kites near the nest, but not other hawks or eagles.
Swallow-tailed Kite picture and information.
#15 - Northern Bobwhite
1. There are 22 different subspecies of Northern Bobwhite and while the females show little differences, the males can be dramatically different.
2. Northern Bobwhites form coveys (groups) of 5 to 30 individuals.
3. Chicks leave the nest approximately 24 hours after hatching.
4. Northern Bobwhites are heavily over-hunted and in many locations numbers are kept inflated by individuals that are raised in captivity and release for the sole purpose of being hunted.
5. The Bobwhite got its name from its distinctive ‘bob WHITE’ call.
Northern Bobwhite picture and information.
The winner of the previous poll was the Snowy Owl.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Click here to see more great Today's Flowers posts.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I hadn’t decided where I was going to go when I woke up but decided to try to find the falls at McCormick’s Creek State Park since it was cloudy which allows the use of a slow shutter speed. It was much more impressive in real life at about 9-10 feet tall. The fall colors added to the effect and the waterfall met all of my expectations.
After more than an hour I decided to look for some birds, the only bird that was around the falls was a Red-headed Woodpecker which made up for the absence of birds. Once I was concentrating on birds I found many including good numbers of both kinglets and White-throated Sparrows. I also heard my first Brown Creeper of the fall. The highlight was a single Orange-crowned Warbler that was hanging out with the White-throated Sparrows. It allowed very close views and was my first one of the fall.
Indiana has much more beauty than first meets the eye, every time out into the field I find some new and interesting natural aspect of the state.
Friday, October 17, 2008
1. The Sibley Guide to Birds
Pros: Number of plumages shown, very concise bird illustrations, good descriptions of songs.You can purchase The Sibley Guide to Birds here.
Cons: Large size of guide, many rare birds left out, no natural history information of birds.
2. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America
Pros: Many comparative plates for identifying difficult species, natural history of most birds.You can purchase Peterson Field Guide to Birds here.
Cons: Not all plumages shown, many rare birds left out.
3. Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America
Pros: Natural history of most birds, arrows pointing out the field marks, easy to carry around.You can purchase Kaufman Field Guide to Birds here.
Cons: Many plumages not shown, some rare birds left out.
4. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Pros: Includes all rare birds, natural history of birds included.You can purchase National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America here.
Cons: Many plumages not shown.
5. Stokes Field Guide to Birds
You can purchase Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region here.
Pros: Natural history of birds included, photos help show the habitat to find each bird.
Cons: The photo style limits helpfulness when trying to ID birds, many rare birds left out.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Taken at 7:02 P.M.
Taken at 7:10 P.M.You can find more great SkyWatch Friday post here.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
1. Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area (15.7/20)
Location: Greene County
Highlights: Breeding marsh birds, shorebird migration, waterfowl, and many rare birds including Ibises and Black-bellied Whistling Duck.
2. Eagle Creek Park (14.3/20)
Location: Marion County
Highlights: Warbler migration, Breeding forest birds, and occasional rare water birds including the only Ross’s Gull ever recorded in Indiana.
3. Miller Beach (13.7/20)
Location: Lake County
Highlights: Shorebird migration, Gulls, Jaegers, and many rare birds. By far the best place to see rare birds in Indiana.
4. Brookville Reservoir (13.5/20)
Location: Franklin County
Highlights: Shorebird migration, waterfowl migration, and it is one of the best locations in eastern Indiana for rare birds.
5. Kankakee Sands (12.9/20)
Location: Newton County
Highlights: Breeding grassland birds, shorebird migration, and rare rails including Black and Yellow.
6. Jasper Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area (12.9/20)
Location: Pulaski County
Highlights: Thousands of Sandhill Cranes and the occasional Whooping Crane.
7. Gibson Lake (12.8/20)
Location: Gibson County
Highlights: Largest Least Tern colony in Indiana, shorebird migration, and rare wading and shorebirds.
8. Migrant Trap (12/20)
Location: Lake County
Highlights: Warbler migration, sparrow migration, and lake birds.
9. Hawthorne Mines (12/20)
Location: Greene County
Highlights: Many wintering hawks, large flocks of blackbirds in the fall and winter, and a wintering Prairie Falcon.
10. Pine Creek Gamebird Habitat Area (10.9/20)
Location: Benton County
Highlights: Migrating shorebirds, migrating sparrows, and breeding grassland and marsh birds.
If we did not include a spot that you think should be included or have any questions about any of the locations let us know.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
#2 - Snowy Owl
1. Snowy Owls typically lay between 5 and 8 eggs but have been know to lay as many as 14.
2. Snowy Owls are mostly diurnal hunters.
3. It was recently discovered that Snowy Owls are closely related to the horned owls.
4. Snowy Owls can eat more the 1600 lemmings per year. They must also capture between 7 and 12 mice per day to meet their food needs.
5. While the female incubates the eggs and cares for the young in the nest, the male brings her and the young food.
Snowy Owl Picture and Information
#15 - Cedar Waxwing
1. Cedar Waxwings are known to get drunk off of the many berries they feed on.
2. Some Cedar Waxwings are now being seen with orange tail tips; the usual is a yellow tail tip. The reason for this is believed to be because of a non native plant, a species of honeysuckle.
3. During most of the years Cedar Waxwings travel in flocks giving their high pitched trilling call the whole time.
4. The Cedar Waxwing is one of the latest breeding songbirds. They do not start nesting until late June.The Cedar Waxwing is named for the Eastern Red Cedar tree where they often feed.
Cedar Waxwing Picture and Information
The winner of the previous poll was Roseate Spoonbill.
Monday, October 13, 2008
This past weekend I went down to Cincinnati and was able to do some birding with my brother at Miami Whitewater Wetlands. At this time of year the possibilities are almost endless at this location. Possibilities can’t be endless but this place is about as close as it comes. There is excellent habitat for almost any species of sparrows and some good habitat for migrating warblers and other tree dwelling passerines. We only had a short time before we had to meet the rest of our family for lunch and a great Colts game so we quickly headed out into the middle of the now dry marsh.
Sunrise at Miami Whitewater Wetlands.
Our main target birds were LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows both of which are somewhat uncommon and most of the time very difficult to find. Lucky for us we were able to find both fairly quickly and got very good looks at both of them. While trying to find them we also found a Sora and many other sparrows including many Swamp, Song, Field, White-crowned, White-throated, and Lincoln’s Sparrows. I have never been to any other location with as many Lincoln’s Sparrows. Their usual habitat is along tree lines with lots of undergrowth but at Miami Whitewater Wetlands we had them not only in their usual haunts but also out in the marsh. As these are one of my favorite sparrows this made it a great day.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Here is a closeup of one of the many buffalo.
This picture was taken with a 300mm lens. Many times the buffalo will stand on the road and cause a traffic jam. It is very easy to get within a few feet of them while in your car.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
So far we are through all of the number 1 vs. 16 matchups with no upsets. The entire layout is shown above so you can look ahead to future matchups. Make sure you vote each time a new matchup is posted, it's a warmup for the upcoming presidential election. Of course there is no bad vote when it comes to the birds.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
After stopping to pick up the reported Franklin’s Gull, we continued on to the marina where we found many birds. There were many Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglet and White-throated Sparrows, both a sure sign that fall is here. After finding a few migrant warblers, we decided to check the mudflats on the north end of the reservoir. While there were only a few shorebirds present, we did find another winter resident on our hike, two Dark-eyed Juncos.
It is really starting to feel like fall and the presence of our winter residents show that winter is not all that far away. Overall it was a great day that was capped off by our Birdathon luncheon to celebrate a successful year of fundraising.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
After making a 1.5 mile hike, I finally came upon my first waterfall of the trip. Grotto Falls, located along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail near Gatlinburg, is an amazing waterfall to photograph. Being a beginning nature photographer, this was the first opportunity I had ever had to photograph waterfalls and it was very challenging. I spent over an hour learning how to shoot waterfalls and experimenting with many different angles. I still have a lot to learn but, the following photos are what I produced during my hour at Grotto Falls.
2 sec f/18 ISO 200
Monday, September 29, 2008
On our way down I-75 from Indianapolis, we stopped in Ocala, Florida and had the opportunity to bird at Ocala National Forest. We had never birded in the area and were able to find a few Florida Scrub-Jays. Unfortunately, we were not able to find a Red-cockaded Woodpecker or a Brown-headed Nuthatch. We also found a very cooperative Snapping Turtle that we were able to photograph. Later in the afternoon we continued on down to Captiva Island near Sanibel. We spent a few days in the area mainly focusing on photographing the wonderful birds at Ding Darling NWR, in Fort Myers Beach, and on the property around our hotel. We also decided to go to Cape Coral and try to find the Burrowing Owls that reside there. We were able to find one of the nesting locations and found one owl at the entrance to one of the burrows. This was a life bird for all of us and we were very excited to have seen such a beautiful owl. It does worry me that the area with the burrows is listed for sale and already surrounded by houses. I hope that the habitat for these special owls is not destroyed in the future. As always, we had many great birds and enjoyed 2 days of amazing birding.
Snapping Turtle at Ocala National Forest
As we headed for Homestead and the Miami entrance to the Everglades, we made 2 stops. First, we stopped at Little Estero Lagoon in Fort Myers Beach. This is an excellent spot to photograph herons, egret, and shorebirds. We observed and photographed many birds here including Wilson’s Plover, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, and all of the normal herons and egrets. Continuing on, we stopped at Corkscrew Swamp. The water levels in the area were really low due to the ongoing drought. Even with the water being low, we saw many of the expected birds and got to see the Painted Bunting that resides at the sanctuary during the winter months. From there we drove straight over to Homestead and prepared for an early morning trip into the Everglades National Park.
Great Blue Heron at Little Estero Lagoon
We then went back to the Visitor Center to look around and to get some maps of the area. It is a great visitor center with a very helpful and informative staff to help you with any questions you may have. We were very interested in seeing a Snail Kite but we were told that there had not been any reported in the area due to the drought. While we were slightly disappointed that Snail Kites had not been seen recently we knew that there was still a chance for us to find one.
From the visitor center we drove the main park road and stopped at another famous trail. Snake Bight trail is famous among birders and is something we felt we had to do during our trip. It was a great hike and we were able to see our only Great White Heron of the trip. Unfortunately, there were no Flamingos in the bight. We continued on to Flamingo and found some very interesting things there. We found an American Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, and a Black Skimmer. While going into the store to get lunch, we noticed a large crocodile resting on the shore across from some docks.
From there we headed back towards Homestead and decided to drive through another area of the Everglades just to the north to search for a Snail Kite. Although we drove back roads for almost 3 hours, there was no Snail Kite to be found.
On our last day in south Florida, we decided to drive south through some of the Keys and see if we could find anything interesting down there. While there were very few birds, we were able to find a Key Deer on Big Pine Key, which is an endangered sub-species of the very common White-tailed Deer. They are only the size of a medium-sized dog and it is amazing how small these deer really are. After seeing the Key Deer, we headed back to the Everglades to walk Anhinga Trial one more time.
Anhinga Trail Visitor Center
We got there just before sunset and had just enough time to walk the boardwalk one more time. As we walked around we saw many of the birds that we had seen during our first walk the day before. As we rounded the corner near the end of our walk a large Kite flew over. We knew immediately that the bird was the Snail Kite that we had been searching for. We watched it till it was out of sight and then ran back along the boardwalk to try to relocate the Kite. When we got to one of the observation areas, there were already a few people watching the bird. It had landed only 50 feet from the boardwalk and was looking right at us. We were able to observe this bird for about 30 minutes until it was to dark and we had to head back to our car. It was great to find our target bird just minutes before the end of our trip.