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Gray-headed Kite
248418133 e131053866
Information
Range eastern Mexico and Trinidad south to Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and northern Argentina.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Leptodon
Species Leptodon cayanensis
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Gray-headed kite (Leptodon cayanensis), is a species of bird of prey found in open woodland and swamp forests. It shares the genus Leptodon with the extremely rare white-collared kite. It breeds from eastern Mexico and Trinidad south to Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and northern Argentina.

Description

The gray-headed kite is 46–53 cm in length and weighs 410-605 g. The adult has a grey head, black upperparts, white underparts, and a black tail with two or three white bars. The bill is blue and the legs grey. The flight is a deliberate flap-flap-glide.

Immature birds have two colour morphs; the light phase is similar to the adult, but has a white head and neck, with a black crown and eyestripe, black bill and yellow legs. The dark phase has a blackish head, neck and upperparts, and dark-streaked buff underparts.

Ecology

The gray-headed kite feeds mainly on reptiles, but also takes frogs and large insects. It usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey. The call is a mewling keow. The nest is made of sticks lined with grass and is built high in a tree. The clutch is one or two white eggs, purplish at one end and spotted brown.

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