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  • by Jean-Francois Podevin

Rare Birds of North America: The Stag Horned Kite

" Is it a bird?..Is it a Deer?...Is it a tree?... Silhouetted against the sun, sitting on top of the highest mountain: "...It is a tree!...," or so it would appear to any living creature venturing into the Rocky Mountains. Enrobed in this ultimate camouflage, the Stag Horned Kite hides from predators, shades itself from the sun and thrones upon the world below. The Kite is the King of the Rockies. When the Kite grows tired of being regal, it will shed his crown of foliage with a single shake of its powerful neck. In minutes the Stag Horned Kite will recreate another headdress from branches and leaves which it will adorn once again to resume its majesty. This royal creature is courted by a pair of wrens that keep parasites and insects away. The Stag Horned Kite is the politically correct King of the Rockies. With the rapacious body of an eagle and the pride of a deer, the Stag Horned Kite is vegetarian. (J.F. Podevin 1997)

d Kite is vegetarian.

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