Status of the everglade kite in Florida--1968-1978

The Wilson Bulletin



The population status of the Everglade Kite (Rostrhamus sociabils plumbeus) was studied in Florida from 1968 through 1978. Sixty-four nestlings (40% of known fledged young) were leg-banded with unique color combinations, and of these, 17.2% were seen 1 or more years after they were banded. Kites were capable of breeding at 3 years of age or possibly younger. The population was nomadic; its sex ratio unknown. From 1968 through 1976 breeding success was determined for 175 nests, of which 48% were successful: 161 young were fledged, x = 20.1 per year, or 1.9 per successful nest (N = 84). The percentage of successful nests ranged from 17.1 (N = 35) in 1974 to 84.6 (N = 13) in 1968 (x= 54.1 per year). From 1968 through 1976 there was a significant increase (r = 0.685, P < 0.05) in the number of nests ohserved (excluding 1971, and reproduction was not studied in 1977 and 1978). The mortality rate for young in the nest was 41%. Some individuals live for at least 8+ years. The mean number of kites for 10 annual censuses was 120.2 with a range of 65 (1972) to 267 (1978). The severe drought of 1971 resulted in a significant decrease in the population for that year and 1972, with no nesting attempts being observed in the dry year. From 1974 through 1978 the population increased significantly (r = 0.92, P < 0.025), apparently the result of favorable water conditions and increased food supply. The loss of suitable habitat is the major problem facing the species in Florida. A high water level is essential, as this affects food supply and its availability, as well as nesting success.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Status of the everglade kite in Florida--1968-1978
Series title The Wilson Bulletin
Volume 91
Issue 4
Year Published 1979
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 495-511
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Wilson Bulletin
First page 495
Last page 511
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