[texbirds] Re: Common Loon

  • From: Jack Evins <jcevins@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: josephkennedy36@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 22:29:09 -0500

A common Loon was very near the small bridge on Sportsman Road this
afternoon, on the "inland" not the bay side. Very approachable, and we
speculate that it may be ill or injured. Its feathers looked somewhat
disheveled, and it closed its eyes as if wanting a nap frequently, seeming
very unconcerned, given our proximity (approx. 30 feet).
I figure this sighting to be unusual, but not unheard of, for late June.
However, good photos are available, if needed.

Jack Evins
Galveston & Austin
On Jun 26, 2015 11:35 AM, "Joseph Kennedy" <josephkennedy36@xxxxxxxxx>

I spent yesterday morning in Crosby with the swallow-tailed kite colony
there. I counted a total of 8 adults and 4 young-of the year birds in the
little section between Aweigh and Tarpaulin. I did not get around the rest
of the subdivision. The purpose of the trip was to attach a radio tag to a
kite and then track it on its migration and local movements. The tag was
installed and is working.
Here's the direct link to the kite tracking site:

A bird was also tagged in Mississippi last week and a Slidell Louisiana
bird has gone through the UTC in past migrations to southern brazil. You
may have to page-down after clicking on one of the kites. The Crosby bird
will be up soon if not already. You can also check Jennifer Coulson's web
page about the kite project at

And in case you are interested, here's is Jennifer and Tom Coulson's kite
research site from
Several young kites were out and about which is at least a couple of weeks
earlier than the last couple of years. Did not see the fish crows from last
year and only a couple of Mississippi kites.

The really damp and humid day kept the kites down later than normal. When I
arrived at dawn I spent a long time before any got up and perched and was
worried that the 2 recent rain storms had damaged the nests.

But not to worry. They all got up and perched and did lots of preening for
well over and hour before doing much moving around. Adults and young were
up in the sun drying and fluffing



An adult male was one of the first up and found a wasp nest for food. He
carried one in his beak, one in the feet and part of one may have stuck to
his under-tail feathers


You cannot really sex the kites but the males do most of the foraging and
carry prey like headless squabs tucked under the tail leaving the feathers
there very dirty like this bird


This bird is actually banded with a USF&W band. It was a little too high
and out of focus to read anything but I can distinguish the markings


The youngsters then got up too


With a little work, one of the hawks, probably a female was netted



Really good look at the swallow-tail


They can bite but not that hard at least when I was nipped


This bird has a grayish nape


And was hooded to calm her


Radio attached



Not a happy camper


Good look at the radio


My best looks at a kite



And then it was off


The antenna shows pretty well


During most of the time while the female was being measured, banded and
tagged, several adult and young kites were scolding from overhead. This did
not end after the female was released and she and the others came back and
cursed us all at great length.

Here she is with her? youngster cursing


And showing off her new harness arrangement


All of the pictures and more can be browsed at


Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston

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