no sexual dimorphism; white underparts (California, USA; 2008-10-08)

White-tailed Kite
Elanus leucurus

Native Range: North America and Latin America

Notes: an elegant mostly white hawk of open countryside and roadways; frequently hovers while searching for small rodents, and then dives feet first to capture its prey; large eyes give it exceptional vision for locating prey even at considerable height; roosts communally in groups of up to 100 birds; this species formerly was deemed to have a worldwide distribution, but evidence now suggests that forms in Australia (Black- shouldered Kite) and in the Old World including Eurasia and Africa (Black-winged Kite) are specifically distinct from the White-tailed Kite

dorsal view; gray back, white head (California, USA; 2008-10-08)

falcon-like wings, long rounded tail (California, USA; 2008-03-06)

dorsal view, note black shoulder patches (California, USA; 2007-10-14)

hovering; note yellow legs (California, USA; 2006-11-19)

preparing to dive on mouse (California, USA; 2006-06-08)

pair, with male (right) carrying a mouse (California, USA; 2006-04-21)
male handing mouse to female in flight (California, USA; 2006-04-21) courtship feeding over, female takes mouse(California, USA; 2006-04-21)
preparing to take off, note long wing, red eye (California, USA; 2007-02-03) preparing to take off (California, USA; 2012-01-10)
quietly perched; note the yellow feet and legs (California, USA; 2012-01-10) flying level (California, USA; 2012-01-10)
powered flight (California, USA; 2012-01-10)