PHOTO CAPTION: White-tailed Kite

Kites are raptors with long wings and weak legs. They spend a great deal of time soaring. They will take live prey but mostly prefer to feed on carrion.

They are birds of prey which along with hawks, eagles, Old World vultures and many others are in the family Accipitridae.

Together with less closely related groups such as New World vultures and Osprey, they make up the diurnal bird of prey order Falconiformes.

Species list

  • Subfamily Elaninae
    • Black-winged Kite, Elanus caeruleus
    • Black-shouldered Kite, Elanus axillaris
    • White-tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
    • Letter-winged Kite, Elanus scriptus
    • Scissor-tailed Kite, Chelictinia riocourii
    • Bat Hawk, Machaerhamphus alcinus
    • Pearl Kite, Gampsonyx swainsonii
    • Swallow-tailed Kite, Elanoides forficatus
  • Subfamily Milvinae
    • Double-toothed Kite, Harpagus bidentatus
    • Rufous-thighed Kite, Harpagus diodon
    • Mississippi Kite, Ictinia mississippiensis
    • Plumbeous Kite, Ictinia plumbea
    • Snail Kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis
    • Slender-billed Kite, Rostrhamus hamatus
    • Whistling Kite, Haliastur sphenurus
    • Brahminy Kite, Haliastur indus
    • Red Kite, Milvus milvus
    • Black Kite, Milvus migrans
    • Black-eared Kite, Milvus lineatus
    • Square-tailed Kite, Lophoictinia isura
    • Black-breasted Buzzard, Hamirostra melanosternon

A few of the Perninae are also called kites.

  • Grey-headed Kite, Leptodon cayanensis
  • White-collared Kite, Leptodon forbesi
  • Hook-billed Kite, Chondrohierax uncinatus