Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Snail Kite - Rostrhamus sociabilis
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General Comments This rare (Federally listed) species is normally found only from central Florida southward, and is mostly non-migratory. One of the more shocking records in recent years was the discovery of an adult male Snail Kite at some crayfish ponds near Rimini, South Carolina, in spring 2007. The bird remained for nearly a month, and was seen by practically all who made the trip. Not to be outdone, North Carolina got its own record -- the northernmost ever recorded -- in spring 2009, when an adult male was found dead on 10 April in the Crusoe Island section of Columbus* [Chat 74:35-37 link]. The dead bird is now a specimen at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. The second state record was even more amazing owing to time of year --an immature bird seen and photographed in flight a few miles north of Oregon Inlet (Dare) on 4 Dec 2019* [Chat 84:66 link] [Chat 84:79 link]. A surprising third record, in 2021: "A GPS-tagged juvenile, originally tagged as a fledgling 10 Jun at Lake Kissimmee Florida, was tracked flying north through both states [assumed to be Georgia and South Carolina] until the tag stopped transmitting near Broadwater Bridge Rd in Roseboro (Sampson) NC 2 Aug" [Chat 86:39 link]. Though no one saw the bird in NC, it should be assumed to have occurred in the state, as the GPS signal stopped in Sampson County; the report has not yet been reviewed by the NC BRC.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G4G5
Coastal Plain Three records (see above).
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
Attribution LeGrand[2022-02-09], LeGrand[2020-08-02], LeGrand[2020-04-18]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.