I opted to wait until mid-morning to take my walk. OK, scratch that, I’d slept in and since it was still heavily overcast and in the low 40s, figured I could stroll without incurring the wrath of dermatologist since I’d be in dark glasses, a hat, and gloves. I got to the end of the block and observed a commotion in the grass of a yard. I tried to detour, but it wasn’t far enough, and three Mississippi kites erupted from the grass. Two attacked each other, talons locking in mid-air, then breaking apart. The third, a larger female, settled onto the top of a tree down the next block. After another aerial spat, one of the males joined her.
Note to self, time to wear a hat at all times, even in the pre-dawn mornings. The kites are back, and they dive-bomb anyone who gets too close to the nests. I’ve been thumped before by fisted talons.
A pair of Coopers hawks are also hanging around. One of them blasted past at head-height last week, in hot pursuit of something. They tend to soar higher, and are not as sleek as the kites. Nor do they seem as possessive of their turf, although I’m not going to go poking around whichever tree they have chosen to nest in. I like having my skin and eyes intact, thank you.
The kites arrived early, showing up one evening in late April. Then they vanished. I didn’t start seeing or hearing them until two weeks ago, and they’ve really taken over this week.