Photo by Jim Gray
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The story and beauty of the Swallow-tailed Kites’ annual 10,000-mile round-trip migration from Florida to South America is the subject of a new Florida Museum of Natural History exhibit opening Oct. 12.

Through paint, pictures and poetry, artist Margo McKnight and Ken Meyer of the Avian Research and Conservation Institute tell the tale of the fascinating journey and complex lives of these rare and beautiful birds of prey in the exhibit “A Swallow-tailed Kite’s 10,000-mile Journey: A Black and White Odyssey.”

“I undertook this project to simply introduce this amazing bird to a new audience,” McKnight said. “Awareness is the very first step and can turn into intention, which in turn can move people to action. Just one step can make a difference.”

Due to a sharp decline in the number of Swallow-tailed Kites over the last century, the

Photo by Jim Gray
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Avian Research and Conservation Institute has been tracking the birds with satellite transmitters since 1997 to learn about their migration routes, biology and habitat and identify threats to the U.S. population. The institute’s research is used to help manage and preserve kites and other bird species.

“The future of Swallow-tailed Kites is in our hands,” said Florida Museum exhibit developer Tina Choe. “Each one of us has the choice to support projects that push our knowledge and best conservation practices for the future health of our natural world.”

The museum will display the exhibit through April 13, 2014.


Writer: Katina Prokos,
Source: Tina Choe,
Media contact: Paul Ramey,, 352-273-2054