Global Short Term Trend: Unknown
Comments: Recent global trend is unknown.
Data from the 1990s did not allow an accurate assessment of recent population trends for the U.S. population, although it was clear the species was not experiencing the marked population increases exhibited by other kites (Meyer and Collopy 1996). Analyses of Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data were inconclusive. "A cautious assumption that population is stable, with local increases... and decreases" (Meyer 1995). More recently, based on BBS and Christmas Bird Count data, Butcher and Niven (2007) concluded that there is evidence of an increase in the U.S. population. Autumn migration counts around the Gulf of Mexico during 1995-2005 also documented increasing numbers of swallow-tailed kites (Smith et al. 2008) that could reflect a population increase or a shift in migration geography (Farmer et al. 2008).
Global Long Term Trend: Unknown
Comments: Long-term global trend is unknown.
Populations declined significantly in the U.S. between 1880 and 1940 (Cely 1979). The U.S. breeding range once included an estimated 21 states, but is now restricted to portions of seven southeastern states (Meyer 1995). During the 1960s-1980s, many local nesting concentrations in Florida disappeared (Meyer and Collopy 1990).