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Black-shouldered Kite

Scientific Name: Elanus axillaris

Description: The Black-shouldered Kite is an elegant small bird of prey with white plumage and a grey back. As the name of the bird implies, the adult has a dark shoulder patch. It also has dark red eyes. Young birds have a reddish-brown wash on the head, breast and back and brownish-orange eyes.

Black-shouldered Kites are not common, but sometimes they are seen hunting around the Bluff or along the dune area, often hovering in a stationary position waiting to spot any movement below. They feed on small rodents, reptiles, and insects. They have a direct flight with quick shallow wing beats interspersed with glides on upswept wings. They prefer to hunt through the day, often hovering with wings held upright in a V-shape, before dropping down and grabbing their prey.

Type: Bird
Where to find: croplands, grasslands and above the Bluff.
Size: 35cm