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The other day while taking the trash out, I observed a swallow tailed kite
(STKI) flying overhead.  The kite suddenly folded its wings and began a dive
toward the top of some trees nearby.  I thought the bird was going to land
but  it kept its wings fluttering above its head (hovering) and although
making contact with the tree never did land.   The STKI emerged from the
tree top with a rough green snake in its talons.  The snake had been grabbed
near its tail and was now being flown off by the STKI.  The STKI circled
overhead for a few minutes,  occasionally folding it wings semi-around the
snake while manipulating the snake into a tight cluster around its talons.
Once the snake was wrapped in the talons the STKI flew directly east toward
a silvercultural area. This was an impressive display of food manipulation.


Tony Maguire
Jacksonville, Florida

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