Checked content

Kite (bird)

Related subjects: Birds

Did you know...

This Schools selection was originally chosen by SOS Children for schools in the developing world without internet access. It is available as a intranet download. A quick link for child sponsorship is

Black Kite
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Accipitridae
  • Milvinae
    • Harpagus
    • Ictinia
    • Rostrhamus
    • Helicolestes
    • Haliastur
    • Milvus
    • Lophoictinia
    • Hamirostra

  • Elaninae
    • Elanus
    • Chelictinia
    • Machaerhamphus
    • Gampsonyx
    • Elanoides

Kites are raptors with long wings and weak legs which spend a great deal of time soaring. In general they feed on carrion but may also take live prey.

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, Helicolestes hamatus - formerly in Rostrhamus
    • Whistling Kite, Haliastur sphenurus
    • Brahminy Kite, Haliastur indus
    • Red Kite, Milvus milvus
      • Cape Verde Kite, Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda - extinct (2000)
    • Black Kite, Milvus migrans
      • Black-eared Kite, Milvus (migrans) lineatus
      • Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus (migrans) aegyptius
    • 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
Retrieved from ""