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Rare bird sighting in Topeka draws birders to capital

September 3, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A rare bird sighting in northeastern Kansas is drawing birders to the capital.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that birders first spotted a swallow-tailed kite last week in Topeka. The newspaper reports that birders from across the state have traveled to the Cedar Crest governor’s mansion and Kaw River State Park to catch a glimpse.

Topeka Audubon Society board member Sue Newland saw the bird with a group of about 15 Mississippi kites, which are cousins of the swallowed-tailed kite and are more common in Kansas.

Newland says the last time the bird species was seen in Shawnee County was in September 1972. She says there have only been 15 documented sightings of the bird in Kansas since 1968.

The predatory bird has a white head and distinctive forked tail.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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