OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A wildlife rehabilitation facility is urging residents to pay close attention to the birds in their trees, and to not take action against them.
WildCare Oklahoma says in the last two weeks, two different Mississippi Kites have been brought to WildCare with gunshot wounds.
“First, it’s illegal to shoot migratory birds- federally. Secondly, these are among the smallest raptors – they primarily eat insects but will grab small rodents and reptiles. They cannot get larger prey- cats, small dogs, or even chickens,” WildCare wrote.
Officials say the small, gray falcon-like birds have a distinctive high-pitched call. As an adult, the birds only grow to weigh 7.6 to 13.7 ounces.
The facility says that Mississippi Kites are known to dive bomb people who get too close to their nest. While it is inconvenience, WildCare says residents should bring an umbrella to protect themselves from the tiny attackers.
The birds fly from Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina to breed in central and western Oklahoma. In the fall, they will migrate back to South America.
“Please help us spread the word- children and pets are safe from Mississippi Kites. And an umbrella will keep you safe if they fly towards you. Remember, this dive-bombing behavior is about PROTECTING THEIR YOUNG. And, please keep people from shooting one of these miraculous birds. Not only is it against the law, but it is totally unnecessary and inhumane,” WildCare posted on Facebook.