Swallow-tailed Kites

A wonderful sign of Spring is that both Swallow-tailed Kites and Purple Martins are back in our area for nesting. Four Kites were spotted near Candlelight Lane and Martins have been seen around Sun City at several of the various condos on the Purple Martin Trail. 

If you should see Swallow-tailed Kites in Sun City or in other locations near us, please report your sightings to the Center for Birds of Prey at: 
Mary Helen, 4/1/14
Swallow-tailed Kite flying near Biltmore Drive.


Pictures from 2012:


Compare the Swallow-tailed Kite with the Mississippi Kite.  Pictures from Frank Balogh, taken at SNWR on 5/10/12:




To Bird Club Members: 

We are fortunate to be in a part of the country which has many beautiful birds. As you travel around Sun City or our Wildlife Refuges, be on the lookout for summer visitors and/or migrants passing through.

Members have reported seeing the following: 

  • Rose - breasted Grosbeak at feeders (seen April 22 and 24) - see pictures below
  • Indigo Bunting - April
  • Swallow - tailed Kites - sighted over Biltmore Drive and Candlelight Lane (late March and April 19)
  • Purple Martins - they are in many of the Community Purple Martin apartment houses 
  • Painted Buntings - some since January

At Riverbend - these birds have been seen:
  • Blue Grosbeak - arrived April 16
  • Summer Tanager - arrived April 19
  • Prairie Warbler - arrived April 21
  • Hooded Warbler - arrived mid-April
  • Painted Bunting - April 4
 Savannah NWR - Bobolinks on April 23 and Purple Gallinule - early April

Our upcoming Mayfest Field Trips provide a good opportunity to look for some of these birds.

Happy Birding, 
Mary Helen

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

To Bird Club Members: Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are currently migrating thru Sun City. They have been spotted this week in several different locations within the community.
If you are not familiar with this bird, the black and white male is very distinctive with his rose colored breast. Keep watching your feeders and you may see one.

Here are two links with more information about this beautiful bird. 


What is better than one Rose-breasted Grosbeak? Two!! I couldn't believe my eyes but yesterday in the late afternoon, I had two males. 
Mary Helen

The Red Knot

An uncommon shorebird -the Red Knot - will be migrating through the Low Country during the month of April, it can be seen on our beaches in breeding plumage. This bird has one of the longest migrations of any. Every year it travels more than 9,000 miles from the Arctic to the southern tip of South America. Red Knots will be stopping at beaches where horseshoe crabs are reproducing. At our meeting at 4 PM on Wednesday, April 4 , John Albert will tell us about the life cycle of horseshoe crabs and how they are indispensable to both humans and Red Knots.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Direct link to the reporting site:  http://www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org/swallowtail-kite.php





The public is being asked to report sightings of the swallow-tailed kite, an endangered-species in South Carolina and considered a species of highest conservation concern throughout its breeding range in North America.  Help the South Carolina Working Group for Swallow-tailed Kites monitor swallow-tailed kite distribution, identify important nesting and foraging areas, and promote conservation of this important species and their habitats by reporting sightings and contributing to the Citizen-Science for Swallow-tailed Kite database.  Call toll free 1-888-296-4732 to report a swallow-tailed kite sighting or go to the form at swallowtail.internationalbirdsofprey.org/.  Find out more about the kite, its range and conservation efforts at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Web site (pdf file) http://www.dnr.sc.gov/cwcs/pdf/Swallowtailedkite.pdf.


This bird is unmistakable with its narrow, 4-foot wingspan and long, 10-inch forked outer tail feathers.  The dorsal coloration is black while the head and underparts are white.  Average weight for adults is a little over 1 pound, with females being slightly heavier than males.


DNR protects and manages South Carolina¬ís natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state¬ís natural resources and its people.  Find out more about DNR at www.dnr.sc.gov.