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Today (Feb. 4) at 1 pm, Margaret Harper and I rediscovered a pair of
WHITE-TAILED KITEs on the northern end of Lake Miccosukee (6 mi E of
Monticello, 5 mi S of GA state line) that Michael Miller had first
reported Jan. 6, 2001. Several observers had reported them to
NorthFloridaBirds over the next two weeks, but no one has reported them
for 2 weeks now (and we failed to find them a week ago).  Today, we twice
observed the male doing its courtship flight (wings held in a high "V"
while it rapidly flutters its wingtips, seemingly floating slowly in
circles over the perched female, and chirping incessantly all the while).

They actively hover-hunt over a wide area, and may perch on old duck
blinds or on the ground, obscured by tall weeds.  The focal point of their
activity seems to be a small island (called "Pine Island" by locals) which
is depicted in DeLorme just between a point of land and the fish symbol
(DeLorme p. 35, D2).  Two viewing points are suggested: 1) Hopkins Landing
is the northernmost boat landing depicted in DeLorme, and the island is
about a mile walk south along the mostly dry lake edge.  To get to the
landing, head due South on West Lake Rd. off CR-142 (Green Rd.).  West
Lake is ca. 2 miles E of the Leon/Jefferson Co. line and is marked by a
white church sign.  Go 1.4 miles South, and where the road turns 90 deg.
left, go straight ahead on a one-lane dirt road 1.2 miles to the landing.
2) Off US-90 west of Monticello, go North on "Old Magnolia" Rd.to Rococo
Road (about halfway up the western shore) and follow this road to the
lake.  The distant Pine Island may be scoped due east from here, or if
you're lucky, the kites may be hunting closer by.

Brad
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Brad Bergstrom, Ph.D., Professor           TEL  912-333-5770 /-5759
Department of Biology                      FAX  912-333-7389
Valdosta State University                  e-mail: [log in to unmask]
Valdosta, GA 31698-0015                    Home: 912-333-0743
           Home Page-- http://www.valdosta.edu/~bergstrm/
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