Everglade Snail Kite discovered near Rimini, SC

* The Snail Kite departed in late June, just before the Crayfish ponds were drained according to the normal management schedule.

(click a thumbnail image below to see a larger version)

Here is what the Snail Kite was feeding on (huge crayfish):

A Snail Kite was discovered on Monday May 14, 2007 by Lloyd Moon, a retired Air Force officer who lives in Sumter, SC. The bird was catching crawfish at Elliott's Crawfish Farm, just south of Rimini, SC along Lake Marion.

Mr. Moon went back the next day and obtained photos of the bird. He also talked with the landowner, Mr. L.T. Elliott. Mr. Elliott is a gracious host - he does not seem to mind sharing a few crawfish with the Kite. He also does not mind sharing the Kite with visiting birders.

This is the first Snail Kite to be documented north of Florida. It is presumed to have been forced to leave its breeding grounds in South Florida due to the extreme drought and accompanying wildfires.

US Fish and Wildlife staff who work with Snail Kites in Florida are very interested in this "refugee" bird's habits and behavior. CRBO has agreed to help gather volunteers to implement an existing monitoring protocol used in South Florida to gain information on the bird's feeding habits, health and other aspects of its biology.

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