Kite Identification Tips
The Mississippi Kite (left) is sometimes mistaken for the Swallow-tailed Kite (right).
Here are some tips to help differentiate these two species:
• white head, breast
• wings and tail are black with a bluish cast
• white panels on mid-dorsal surface of wings are only visible when perched
• larger size and wingspan
• long, deeply forked tail
• light gray head, breast
• charcoal black wings, tail
• gray panels on dorsal, trailing edges of wings are clearly visible in flight
• slightly smaller
• short, squared off tail
Above: Dorsal view of Swallow-tailed Kite.
Below: Dorsal views of Mississippi Kites. Note the light gray panels on the trailing edges of the wings.