Swallow-tailed kite continues in Highland County

   A SWALLOW-TAILED kite has been causing quite a stir for local bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike in Highland county and the surrounding area this week off of New Vienna Road between Jones and Connel roads. The bird was first discovered on the afternoon of August 15. Since then, the bird has drawn people from far and wide, all hoping to catch a glimpse, and perhaps even a photo, of the bird which is rare in this area. The normal range of the swallow-tailed kite reaches no further north than the southern coastal areas of South Carolina, where the birds hunt in the numerous swamps and wetlands in the coastal regions. While some bird species will occasionally wander far out of their normal range, it isn’t often that a bird will go over 500 miles out of the normal range and then remain in the area for several days. This hasn’t often been observed, though there have been a handful of other documented reports of species wandering just as far out of their range. As rare as this particular species is in Ohio, it is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for locals in the Highland county area to see the bird. It has been reported in the exact same spot for eight days straight, and nobody knows when it will disappear. On the afternoon of Sunday, August 17, the bird was once again at the New Vienna Road/ Jones Road area, where birders were lined up along the side of the road with spotting scopes and impressive cameras atop massive tripods. It is very special that this bird has traveled over 500 miles out of its ordinary range and has chosen to settle for a short time in Highland County. The opportunity should not be missed, and may soon pass by completely, quite possibly for a number of decades or more. To see a map of where the bird is located, click here.

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