Texas Tech professor, researcher leads presentation on native bird
The Lubbockites converged on Tech Terrace Park this weekend to get a unique perspective on nature.
Clint Boal, raptor specialist and award-winning Texas Tech professor, spoke about the ecology of the Mississippi Kite, including migration, foraging, semi-colonial nesting behavior, why they are here in Lubbock and why some are becoming sometimes aggressive.
During the Saturday morning presentation, spotting scopes and binoculars were available to share with attendees to better see the kites when perched or to put a telescope on a nest to view adults and chicks. .
Dr Boal is a Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management at Texas Tech University and Deputy Director of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit of the Geological Society of the United States in Lubbock.
Boal is the recipient of the 2020 President’s Award from the Raptor Research Foundation.
A member of the falcon and eagle family, the “Mississippi Kite” originated in the southern Great Plains and was discovered in 1806 by Peter Custis, who was exploring the Red River which formed the southern limit of the Louisiana Purchase newly acquired, according to information provided by Texas Tech.
While traveling up the Red River, Custis spotted this new species “Falco” possibly near present-day Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1811, the ornithologist Alexander Wilson gave it its official name, “Falco Mississippiensis”
Additionally, Gail Barnes of the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center brought one of her group’s captive Mississippi kites so people could see one up close.