Mississippi Kite

miskit
Find More Birds

Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Threatened

Mississippi Kite

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
Zoom InOut
Focal Species
Jerry Oldenettel/Flickr Creative Commons
Cool Facts

Often forages in flocks of more than 25 birds.

Urban nests can be anywhere from city parks to residential areas or golf courses. Nesting birds often attack people who get too close.

Although primarily an insect eater, it also preys on frogs, lizards, small rodents, birds, and bats.

This kite is monogamous, and evidently pairs up before arrival on its breeding grounds in spring.


This raptor breeds across the Gulf States and Audubon's climate model projects that the kite will lose 88 percent of its current summer range by 2080. However, its climatic limits will also dramatically expand northward. The diffusion of its potential summer range may cause problems for a species that often nests colonially. Yet, the species has already demonstrated a capacity for expanding its breeding range into new areas in the past few decades.

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.

About This Bird

This small raptor is usually seen in graceful flight, gliding and swooping acrobatically as it pursues large insects in midair. It breeds in the southern United States, from northern Florida to central New Mexico and very locally in Arizona, but its main population center is now on the southern Great Plains. In northern Texas, Oklahoma, and southern Kansas, it has gone through a tremendous population growth in recent decades. It is now a common summer bird throughout that region, nesting in trees along rivers, in shelterbelts, and in cities and towns. More of a long-distance migrant than most raptors, it leaves North America entirely for the winter. Large numbers are seen in fall migration in eastern Mexico, Panama, and Bolivia, as the kites head for a poorly known wintering area in southeastern South America.

Cool Facts

Often forages in flocks of more than 25 birds.

Urban nests can be anywhere from city parks to residential areas or golf courses. Nesting birds often attack people who get too close.

Although primarily an insect eater, it also preys on frogs, lizards, small rodents, birds, and bats.

This kite is monogamous, and evidently pairs up before arrival on its breeding grounds in spring.


Birds at Risk

Explore more birds threatened by climate change around the country.

Allen's Hummingbird
Baird's Sparrow
Bald Eagle
Brown Pelican
Burrowing Owl
Cerulean Warbler
Common Loon
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Golden Eagle
Greater Sage-Grouse
Hooded Oriole
Mississippi Kite
Northern Shoveler
Osprey
Piping Plover
Ruffed Grouse
Rufous Hummingbird
Spotted Owl
Tundra Swan
White-throated Sparrow
Yellow-billed Magpie