Black Shouldered Kite | Black-Winged Kite |

Indian Bird – Black-winged kite:

The black-winged kite, also known as the black-shouldered kite, is a small diurnal bird of prey in the family Accipitridae best known for its habit of hovering over open grasslands in the manner of the much smaller kestrels.

It was always hard for me to take shots of this beautiful raptor since it always flies away and maintains its distance from humans.

Though there were a couple of occasions when I was able to take a few shots, sharing below:

Black Shouldered Kite

Black Shouldered Kite









The black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus), also known as the black-shouldered kite (not to be confused with the closely related Australian species with the same name), is a small diurnal bird of prey in the family Accipitridae best known for its habit of hovering over open grasslands in the manner of the much smaller kestrels.

This Palearctic and Afrotropical species were sometimes combined with the Australian black-shouldered kite (Elanus axillaris) and the white-tailed kite (Elanus leucurus) of North and South America which together form a superspecies.



This kite is distinctive, with long wings; white, grey, and black plumage; and owl-like forward-facing eyes with red irises.

The owl-like behavior is even more pronounced in the letter-winged kite (Elanus scriptus), a nocturnal relative in Australia.

Although mainly seen on plains, they are sometimes seen on grassy slopes of hills in the higher elevation regions of Asia.

They are not migratory but show nomadism in response to weather and food availability. They are well adapted to utilize periodic upsurges in rodent populations and can raise multiple broods in a single year unlike most birds of prey.

Populations in southern Europe have grown in response to human activities, particularly agriculture and livestock rearing.

Mass: 260 g Encyclopedia of Life
Scientific name: Elanus caeruleus
Conservation status: Least Concern
Higher classification: Elanus
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Accipitriformes

It usually feeds on rats, lizards, etc. Below is a short video of it eating a garden lizard.

Other kite species – Black Kite



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