Karl Overman: Birds and more


Who would have guessed that a flat tire was a good thing?  Well on June 4, 2021 Bob Bochenek and I headed to eastern Ohio to see the unlikely vagrant in the form of a White-tailed Kite.  The location was an old coal strip mining area that had been revegetated and now had a thriving grassland avifauna  complete with Upland Sandpipers, Henslow’s Sparrows,  Grasshopper Sparrows, Dickcissels and oh yes, a White-tailed Kite.  We arrived on June 4th just minutes after the kite left its roost.  We waited all day. No kite.  In the afternoon Bob noticed  one of the tires on my  aging van was flat.  No problem.  I had an air compressor in the back and it was only seven miles to the county seat, Cadiz. After slightly filling the errant tire three times, we limped into Cadiz.  Still light so still time to make it back to suburban Detroit that day if we could get the tire fixed.  I called Triple A.   Can’t get to you until 11:15 p.m.  We were sunk.  We were going to have to spend the night in Cadiz and go home the following day.  Fortunately a Firestone Tire store was within walking distance of our motel and it opened at 7 am.  They quickly and cheaply fixed the tire and we were back in the hunt.  We arrived at the stake out just in time to see the White-tailed Kite lift off from its roost .  If only all chases had such a happy ending.

White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)

Modified March 8, 2022