BY MARK D. SOMERSON

Birders ecstatic to learn Mississippi kite is breeding in Ohio

For three years, birders have searched Hocking County trees for proof that a southern bird has made its home in Ohio.

This month, they discovered its nest in a white ash tree in Hideaway Hills.

The Mississippi kite has moved to Ohio.

“This is hugely important,” said Jim McCormac of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. “They are charismatic and very cool, but more importantly, it represents a recovery of habitat.”

The kite is about the size of a peregrine falcon, but lighter. It hunts insects on the fly, swooping in on cicadas and dragonflies at 70 mph.

McCormac, who has written a paper on the kite with Ohio State University researcher Aaron Boone, thinks the bird used to breed in Ohio centuries ago.

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