The Swallow-tailed kite turned up this afternoon, and it wasn’t off somewhere in the distance. It was flying directly over my yard and my neighbor’s yard, circling and soaring. I grabbed my camera, quickly checked settings, and started taking pictures. It was an overcast afternoon and the sky was gray/white–I would have preferred a sunny day with a blue sky, but I was too happy to see the kite and have the chance to shoot photos to really care.

So here are some Swallow-tailed kite photos–imagine this big beautiful black and white bird with its 4 foot wingspan soaring overhead. This may be a young bird since its tail looks shorter to me than the long tails of some kites.

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In these close-ups of the kite’s head and chest you can see blood marks from prey. A kite grabs its prey in its talons while flying, and eats in flight by bending its head down as it holds the prey near its chest and bill.

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Background tree in this shot as the kite flew sideways through the air. I love this picture.

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This morning, before the excitement of the kite, there was a squirrel in the backyard. It ran up the palm tree when it saw me come outside with the camera, but then it surprised me by coming out to sit in plain sight on the palm tree. It sat still and posed very nicely for me–one of my favorite squirrel photos ever.

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