By Mike Busch

You would think after 5 years of monitoring the Long Island Wildlife Photography page and putting these compilations together, we would run out of new species to post.  But this week we can add another one to the list, the Mississippi Kite.   Dan Fiore, a long time member who has a knack for finding crazy stuff, ran into a pair of these beautiful raptors out East this week.  I did a little research and found that there was a nesting pair in upstate Orange County in 2009-2010 but couldn’t find many other reports.  In late May there were sightings spread out from Philadelphia to Sandy Hook NJ and then Brooklyn, all within a few days.  Since these birds are long distance migrants, wintering in southern South America, there is a chance these could be the same birds moving east.

Dan tells me he initially thought it was a Coopers Hawk, but when the bird moved and was joined by its mate he knew he had never seen an all grey raptor with red eyes before.  “I Learned a good lesson in not giving up on a shot , without trying to get a good look.  If I dismissed it as just a backlit Coopers, I’d have never had this lifer, two actually!”

Mississippi Kites – Dan Fiore

Mississippi Kite – Dan Fiore

Mississippi Kites – Dan Fiore

Other notable finds this week include a Sandhill Crane, Tri-Colored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Clapper Rail, Short-Billed Dowitcher, Black Tern, and a Northern Rough-Winged Swallow.

Big thanks to Jim Botta for helping pick out the photos and don’t forget to check out a few more amazing videos from Natalie Ann on the last page.  This week’s cover goes to Jimmy Johnny with a Yellow Crowned Night Heron with a crab.

Tri-Colored Heron – John M Martello

Tree Swallows – Meryl Lorenzo

Sandhill Crane – Dan Fiore

Oystercatcher & Chick – Steven Williams

Osprey – Bob Schmitz

Humpback Whale – Brian Doherty

More Images on Pages 2-9