Snail Kite, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on cradled panel, 5"x5"
It was wonderful to see not one, but two Snail Kites flying low over the open prairie on a recent visit to the Everglades. The small, dark blue-grey hawks with red talons flashed patches of white as they flew searching for apple snails.
The snail kite was so endangered in the mid-sixties that it was estimated that only 100 pair remained in Florida. Now, in recovery as a species, there are over 3500. Still, rare enough to delight when seen.
The Apple snail, practically the only source of food for snail kites, is a brownish colored snail that lives both on land and water. It’s the largest North American snail, and is also struggling for survival as a species. It is hoped that as Everglades restoration continues, both the snails and the kites will flourish.