Feb 06 2011

Beyond Bounds: White-tailed Kite

Published by at 7:17 am under Beyond Bounds,Birds of Prey


I have been mesmerized by this photo since the moment I first saw it.

I’m drawn in by the bird’s ghostly white color, by the warning look on its face, by its intense, red eye.

This is a white-tailed kite, a hawk that hunts rodents in open scrubland by hovering kite-like in the air.  As scary as this bird looks to us, it rarely eats birds so most flocks ignore it. 

The majority of white-tailed kites live in Central and South America but their range extends into western California, western Oregon, southeastern Texas and southern Florida.  They are not plentiful in North America but they can travel widely. 

Cris Hamilton photographed this one at Bosque del Apache, New Mexico last November.

(photo by Cris Hamilton)

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Beyond Bounds: White-tailed Kite”

  1. Doug Baumanon 06 Feb 2011 at 9:19 am

    very cool. I’d like to see one of those someday. But if it doesn’t come to Pittsburgh, probably I won’t. So I’m glad you posted the photo.

  2. Elizabethon 06 Feb 2011 at 11:34 am

    I used to live 30 miles south of San Francisco and I would see White-tailed Kites in Half Moon Bay. There was a huge open field surrounded by trees and they would hunt there. I have some decent shots if you’re interested: http://www.avianexplorer.com/2009/11/white-tailed-kite/

  3. Cris Hamiltonon 08 Feb 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Doug – glad you liked the kite. I agree – amazing looking bird.

    Hi Elizabeth – thanks for sharing your site & your kites. Both look great!

    Thanks to Kate too!!!

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