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#ABArare – Black Kite – Alaska

On January 3, Barbara Lestenkof found and photographed a Black Kite above the town of St. Paul on St. Paul Island, Pribilofs, Alaska. Pending acceptance this is a first Alaska record and first continental ABA Area record.

Photo: Barbara Lestenkof

Black Kite is widely distributed throughout the Old World and is, in fact, one of the most common raptors in its range. It has periodically occurred very close to the North American continent, most recently in July 2016 when one was photographed no more than 50 miles northwest of Little Diomede Island in the Bering Sea, technically in Chukotka province of eastern Russia.

With the recent inclusion of Hawaii into the ABA Area, this is technically not a 1st ABA Area record, depending on how the CLC and RSEC treat the  northwestern Hawaiian islands. There are 3 records of 4 individuals from Wake and Midway Islands in Hawaii, the most recent in 1998. This is the first on the North American mainland, however.

In addition to the Hawaiian records, Black Kite has also occurred a few times in the Caribbean. Newfoundland also has a record of a Milvus kite species, but despite photos being taken, the bird could not be conclusively identified.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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