Mississippi Kite
(Ictinia mississippiensis)

Mississippi Kite Image by Vic Berardi

The 10-year migration count trends for Mississippi Kites suggest stable populations across its range in the East and Gulf Regions with 88% of 8 total sites showing stable counts during this span. There were no increases observed at these count sites (see pie charts and trend maps below). The 20-year count trends (not shown) imply a stable and increasing population in the Gulf Region (Gulf Region: 2 stable, 3 increase).

The Mississippi Kite overwinters in South America, so it is not detected during Christmas Bird Counts in the winter, however, the USGS Breeding Bird Survey data suggest an increase in nesting populations during the last two decades. The species is currently listed globally as a species of least concern by the IUCN Red List. It is listed as endangered in Tennessee, Illinois, New Mexico, and listed as threatened in Arizona. They appear to be increasing their northward range in some Eastern states. Mississippi Kites are vulnerable to deforestation and the removal of nesting trees. Removal and fragmentation of mature hardwood forest can threaten Eastern populations. The increase in breeding population is likely due to the ability of this species to readily colonize suburban areas and nest in urban environments, as observed in the Great Plains. As a result, human-raptor conflict due to diving has been recorded as a significant wildlife nuisance in Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, but steps have been taken to mitigate negative interaction through education and outreach.

Mississippi Kite, North America

2009-2019 (n=8)

Mississippi Kite, East

2009-2019 (n=2)

Mississippi Kite, Gulf

2009-2019 (n=6)

Please cite this page as:
D. Oleyar, D. Ethier, L. Goodrich, D. Brandes, R. Smith, J. Brown, and J. Sodergren. 2021. The Raptor Population Index: 2019 Analyses and Assessments.


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