Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)

OTHER NAMES: Black Shouldered Kite (this is inaccurate: this properly refers to it's closely related Australian counterpart)
Latin Etymology: Elanus ("kite") caeruleus ("dark blue/cerulean")
                                                Adult Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) at Arrocampo, Spain - April 2016 

Featured Subspecies: Elanus caeruleus caeruleus
Weight: 290g  /  Length: 35-38cm  /  Wingspan: 31-37cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern 

By far the smallest of the Kite species found in Europe, it is also by far the most localized, found only in the Western half of Spain, a segment of Portugal and apparently a small enclave in France.  That being said, this is a species with a huge if very patchy distribution; outside of Europe it is found across South and South East Asia and almost all of Sub-Saharan Africa, along with along the Nile in Egypt, some of the North African Coast and a segment of China.  It is a more active predator than the Black and Red Kites - sometimes hovering in an almost Kestrel like manner to detect prey, which consists of various small animals.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Elanus
E. c. caeruleus, E. c. vociferus, E. c. hypoleucus, E. c. wahgiensis

 - Sighting Locations -
CAMBODIA - Khmer - ស្ទាំងលលក ("Dove hawk")
A resident.
SINGAPORE / CAMBODIA 2019 TRIP - One seen distantly at Florican Grassland Reserve
MALAYSIA - Malay - Helang Tikus - ("Mouse Eagle")
A fairly common resident in low densities
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Birds seen from motorways between Kuala Lumpur and Malacca
SPAIN - Spanish - Elanio Azul - ("Blue Kite")
Scarce and Local Resident
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Seen at Oropesa (1 adult, perched) and Arrocampo (1 adult, perched)

Further Notes: BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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