A Mississippi Kite flew by Hawk Ridge today (27 August) around 12:45. Spotted by Dave Carman high overhead on the lake side of the ridge, this bird continued towards downtown Duluth and out of sight without losing altitude or coming closer to the ridge. We watched it appear to be hunting dragonflies, but the bird was far too high to determine its success. There were small numbers of dragonflies in the air at the time of the kite sighting, to be sure, but most interestingly, a massive dragonfly migration came through during the hour period before sunset while I was still watching nighthawks from Hawk Ridge. During this time I counted/estimated 225,000 dragonflies, which were virtually all green darners! This careful estimate was obtained by counting bands of dragonflies moving by at the rate of 1,000/minute and counting the number of minutes these bands continued. For example, at the peak of this movement, for about 20 minutes there were green darners
moving by at the rate of 6,000/minute. Mississippi Kites are semi-annual at Hawk Ridge (I have seen at least one during 4 out of my 6 years counting at Hawk Ridge), but this is the earliest I have seen, so let's hope there are additional kite sightings at Hawk Ridge this fall.
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