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Category:Elanus - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 08:16, 2 June 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (→‎Identification)
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Genus: Elanus


Four species of small kites. They have large heads and eyes; plumage is white and grey with black on their pointed wings. The range of the genus is almost world-wide.


Elanus is a genus in the family Accipitridae.


Normally easy because most species are allopatric. However, Black-shouldered and Letter-winged both occur in Australia. Species mainly differ by the underwing pattern (precise pattern of light and dark primaries and coverts), and whether or not the dark "mask" extends beyond the eyes.

Key differences between adult Elanus kites
species region eye mask underwing primaries underwing rest of wing
Black-winged Kite Africa, Eurasia extends past eye dark whitish primary coverts
Black-shouldered Kite Australia extends past eye dark dark alula and greater primary coverts. white median/lesser primary coverts
White-tailed Kite Americas not past eye dusky dark alula and median primary coverts. Other primary coverts whitish
Letter-winged Kite Australia not past eye pale pale-dusky alula. Dark greater and median secondary coverts, dark primary coverts (M- or W- shaped black bar)

Genus Elanus viewedit
E. caeruleus Black-winged Kite
E. axillaris Black-shouldered Kite
E. leucurus White-tailed Kite
E. scriptus Letter-winged Kite

Pages in category ‘Elanus’

The following 4 pages are in this category, out of 4 total.