White-tailed Kite

White-tailed Kite

The child's toy (kite) was named for Kite because of the way he can hover in mid-air. Osprey can hover as well, but. Hummingbird is the most accomplished of our residents at hovering. Humminbird does it much differently than Kite or Osprey. Hummingbird moves his wings in a figure eight rather than just up and down like Hawk. This gives Hummingbird lift on both the down and the up stroke. Kite and Osprey only get lift on the downstroke so they usually use a headwind to help them. (Their wings are an airfoil and the wind passing over them provides lift just like in an airplane.) Between Osprey and Kite, Kite is the more accomplished and can actualy hover for brief periods in still air. So, from a distance, how do you tell who is who? If he is very little and has his nose in a wildflower he is Hummingbird. If he is hovering over the ocean he is almost certainly Osprey. If he is hovering over the meadow he is almost certainly Kite. 

A cousin of Kite is believed by some to have been Garuda;
important, in part, because Vishnu used him for transportation.

Back to Osprey | Continue to Cooper's Hawk