photographs by Douglas Herr
Accipitridae: White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)

30 June 2021
Yolo County California
White-tailed Kite White-tailed Kite
08 October 2020
Glenn County California
White-tailed Kite
07 February 2018
Yolo County California
White-tailed Kite
30 November 2015
Yolo County California
White-tailed Kite
02 May 2015
non-releasable captive
White-tailed Kite
03 September 2012
Yolo County California
White-tailed Kite
19 December 2011
Yolo County California
White-tailed Kite White-tailed Kite
December 1971
White-tailed Kite White-tailed Kite

Field identification tips: A buoyant raptor often observed hovering over grasslands, the white tail and underparts with dark 'wrists' are distinctive. Dark shoulders and gray upperparts are visible on a perched bird. Immature E. leucurus has a rusty wash on the breast and head, with a dark eye that turns red as the bird matures.

Typical range: In North America, this species is a year-round resident in the lowlands of the pacific coast states of California, Oregon and Washington with additional populations in south Florida, southern Texas and south through Mexico and South America.

Habitat: E. leucurus is a bird of open grasslands where it hunts small mammals by hovering until it spots its prey, then seemingly floats to the ground to capture its meal.

all photographs Copyright (C) Douglas Herr
last update 19 January 2022