Society for the Preservation of Raptors (Inc)


Black Shouldered Kite  (Elanus notatus)

Black Shouldered Kite (Elanus notatus)The Black Shouldered Kite is a frequently-seen hunter in open country, often sighted hovering over road reserves in search of small terrestrial animals such as mice and small lizards.

Similar in appearance to its close relative, the Letterwing Kite, whose wing markings form a pattern not unlike the letter "M", the Black Shouldered Kite is distinguishable from the Letterwing Kite by the smaller black roundels on its wings (pictured below.)

Black Shouldered Kite in flight

Black shouldered kites have large, forward facing eyes with intense red-orange irises and dark feathers around their eyes.  This helps them to see in low light conditions, as they are crepuscular as well as diurnal, being active at dawn and dusk as well as during the day.
Original photographs courtesy Mr Carl Danzi

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