Young raptors get wings in yearly rite in SE Colorado
LAMAR, Colorado – State wildlife officials are asking people around Lamar and along the Arkansas River Valley to keep their dogs and cats at bay while young raptors called Mississippi Kites try to get their wings.
Colorado Division of Wildlife officer Rick Gardner says the birds seem to take longer to learn to fly than other bird species. The parents vigorously defend chicks that fall to the ground, dive-bombing animals and even people who get too close.
Gardner is urging people not to pick up the young birds.
The slate-gray birds are commonly found along the Gulf Coast, but have been spending their summers farther north the past several decades. They annually flock to the Arkansas River valley in southeastern Colorado where they use the tall trees for nesting and open spaces for hunting.