During an early April Walk along Lake Tsala Apopka in Citrus County Florida, Anne and I spot the spring arrival of the swallow-tailed kite. This hawk-like bird circled over the grassy area and woodlands where it dove to snatch something from the ground. We were not close enough to see what it grabbed, but these birds often eat lizards, frogs, mice and palmetto bugs.
After posting its picture on our community Facebook page, a neighbor reported seeing kites smash through her plantings where mockingbirds were nesting. It is a hunting method to flush prey out of the bushes where the kites have easy pickings.
The kite flew back and forth in sweeping large circular patterns frequently diving into the tops of trees and to the ground. Eventually, the bird flew off into the rural neighborhood out of our sight.