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Black – winged Kite : A Smart & Beautiful Raptor

Updated: Aug 1


Black - winged Kite


On a pleasant day during morning walk at Kanpur Cantonment, we found a white complexion bird hovering overhead very actively. Suddenly it dropped vertically in grass and after catching its prey flew away in sky. This unprecedented scene drew our attention and we started following this interesting bird with our camera. On viewing amazing snaps we found it as a smart and beautiful bird of prey popularly known as ‘Black–winged Kite’ or ‘Black-shouldered Kite’. Its scientific name is ‘Elanus caeruleus’ and belongs to ‘Accipitridae’ family.


Various action & mood of Black - winged Kite


Special features of “Black-winged Kite”

· It is a very beautiful bird having white belly, grey wings and distinctive black patch on shoulders.

· It has large forward facing eyes with red iris which resemble with owls. It has striking black stripe around eyes.

· Although it is small in size (30 to 35 cm in length), it has long wing-span (75 to 90 cm) which helps it in movement to far areas in search of prey.

· The most fascinating feature of this bird is its unique ability to hover above any point and to drop vertically on its prey at ground completely surprising the target. During flight its wings spread long with display of beautiful black patch.


Black - winged Kite in Flight

· They hunt mainly in open ground, grassland, scattered trees and scrub. Their powerful toes help in catching prey. They feed on rodents, shrews, bats, small birds, grasshoppers, crickets and insects.

· They make weak whistling calls during flight and while hovering.


Video of Hovering action of Black - winged Kite

All these features make Black-winged Kite a smart and beautiful bird of prey.

It is our endeavour to pictorially present beautiful view of this fascinating bird which you may find very interesting.

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