Birds of the Bible – Kite

Swallow-tailed Kite - the one bird I got a photo of as it flew overhead

Swallow-tailed Kite - the one bird I got a photo of as it flew overhead

Today while Dan and I were out talking with our neighbor, a Swallow-tailed Kite flew over us several times and we all watched it disappear off in the distance. I have noticed several of them in the area lately. They are a pretty bird and I enjoy watching them fly. That tail forked out makes for a neat appearance.

Previously the Birds of the Bible – Glede and Kite article was written when this blog was first starting up. In fact, it was before we moved the blog here to WordPress and was published in the Blogspot(Blogger) format. I was exploring whether the Bible was calling it the Kite or the Glede.

Red Kite (Milvus milvus) by Ian

Red Kite (Milvus milvus) by Ian

This time, let’s look at what the versions of the Scriptures say about the Kite.

Most of the verses about the Kite are found in Leviticus 11:14 and Deuteronomy 14:13, which are in the list of the unclean birds that the Israelites were not to eat. And most of them call the bird a Kite.

Leviticus 11:14 – Here are the verses from the compare mode of e-Sword.
(ASV) and the kite, and the falcon after its kind,
(BBE) And the kite and the falcon, and birds of that sort;
(Brenton) And the vulture, and the kite, and the like to it;
(Darby) and the falcon, and the kite, after its kind;
(DRB) And the kite, and the vulture, according to their kind.
(ERV) kites, all kinds of falcons,
(ESV) the kite, the falcon of any kind,
(GW) kites, all types of buzzards,
(JPS) and the kite, and the falcon after its kinds;
(KJV) And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;
(KJV-1611) And the Uulture, and the Kite, after his kinde:
(LITV) and the kite, and the falcon, according to its kind;
(MKJV) and the kite, and the falcon, according to its kind;
(NAS77) and the kite and the falcon in its kind,
(NASB) and the kite and the falcon in its kind,
(NKJV) the kite, and the falcon after its kind;
(RV) and the kite, and the falcon after its kind;
(Webster) And the vultur, and the kite after his kind;
(YLT) and the vulture, and the kite after its kind,
Here they are called Red Kites
(ISV) red kite, falcon of any kind,

Black Kite (Milvus migrans) by Nikhil Devasar

Black Kite (Milvus migrans) by Nikhil Devasar

Deuteronomy 14:13 has some differences in the use of Kite, Glede, and Red or Black Kite.
Kite:
(ASV) and the glede, and the falcon, and the kite after its kind,
(BBE) The falcon and the kite, and birds of that sort;
(Brenton) and the vulture, and the kite and the like to it,
(Darby) and the falcon, and the kite, and the black kite after its kind;
(DRB) The ringtail, and the vulture, and the kite according to their kind:
(ERV) red kites, falcons, any kind of kite,
(ESV) the kite, the falcon of any kind;
(GW) buzzards, all types of kites,
(ISV) buzzard, any kind of kite,
(JPS) and the glede, and the falcon, and the kite after its kinds;
(KJV) And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,
(KJV-1611) And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kinde,
(KJVA) And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,
(LITV) and the hawk, and falcons, and the kite by its kinds,
(MKJV) and the hawk, and the falcon, and the vulture after its kind,
(NAS77) and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds,
(NASB) and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds,
(NKJV) the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds;
(RV) and the glede, and the falcon, and the kite after its kind;
(Webster) And the glede, and the kite, and the vultur after his kind,
(YLT) and the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after its kind,

Deut 14:12  (CEV) But don’t eat the meat of any of the following birds: eagles, vultures, falcons, kites, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, pelicans, ospreys, cormorants, storks, herons, and hoopoes. You must not eat bats.

Did you notice reading down those verses that the Glede is not mentioned at all in the Leviticus 11:14 list? I even checked the verses before and after and it is not mentioned in them either. Hum!

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) by Nikhil

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) by Nikhil

There are a few other verses with “Kite” mentioned in the Bible:

Jeremiah 8:7   The kite in the air hath known her time: the turtle, and the swallow, and the stork have observed the time of their coming: but my people have not known the judgment of the Lord. (DRB-1899 Douay-Rheims)

Zechariah 5:9 And I lifted up my eyes and looked: and behold there came out two women, and wind was in their wings, and they had wings like the wings of a kite: and they lifted up the vessel between the earth and the heaven. (DRB-1899 Douay-Rheims)

Job 28:7 A path–not known it hath a ravenous fowl, Nor scorched it hath an eye of the kite, (YLT 1898 Young’s Literal Translation)

Video of American Swallow-tailed Kite by Keith Blomerley. It shows a Kite in the air.

There are three versions that use “kite” in Isaiah 34:15

There shall the arrowsnake make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: yea, there shall the kites be gathered, every one with her mate. (RV Revised Version)
There shall the arrowsnake make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and brood under her shadow; yea, there shall the kites be gathered, every one with her mate. (JPS Jewish Publication Society Bible)
There shall the dart-snake make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shade; yea, there shall the kites be gathered, every one with her mate. (ASV American Standard Version)

Pearl Kite (Gampsonyx swainsonii) by Robert Scanlon

Pearl Kite (Gampsonyx swainsonii) by Robert Scanlon

So what is a Kite? They are in the Accipitridae Family of the Accipitriformes Order. Being in the Accipitridae family means they are a bird of prey or raptors

Here is some of what Wikipedia has to say: “The Accipitridae, one of the two major families within the order Accipitriformes (the diurnal birds of prey), are a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a few feeding on fruit. The Accipitridae have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found on all the world’s continents (except Antarctica) and a number of oceanic island groups. Some species are migratory. Many well-known birds, such as hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures are included in this group.”

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) by Nick Talbot

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) by Nick Talbot

“The Black-winged Kite breeds at different times of the year across its range. Although nesting has been noted throughout the year in India, they appear not to breed in April and May. Courtship is noisy and involves chases. The nest is a loose platform of twigs in which 3 or 4 eggs are laid. The female spends more effort in the construction of the nest than the male. The eggs are pale creamy with spots of deep red. Both parents incubate but when the chicks hatch, the male spends more time on foraging for food. Females initially feed the young, sometimes hunting close to the nest but will also receive food from the male. After fledging the young birds continue to be dependent for food on the male parent for about 80 days, initially transferring food at perch and later in the air.

The prey include grasshoppers, crickets and other large insects, lizards and rodents. Injured birds, small snakes and frogs have also been recorded. The slow hunting flight is like a harrier, but it will hover like a Kestrel. It has on rare occasions been known to hunt prey in flight. Favourite perches are used for hunting and for feeding but large prey may sometimes be handled on the ground. In southern Africa, they appear to favour roadside verges for foraging and are sometimes killed by collisions with vehicles.

These birds roost communally with groups of 15 to 35 (larger numbers in Europe) converging at a large leafy tree. They are extremely silent and the calls recorded include a high-pitched squeal or a soft whistle. They call a lot mainly during the breeding season.”

(Top photo from a previous birdwatching adventure)

See others:

Glede and Kite

Birds of the Bible

Wordless Birds

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