Swallow-tailed Kite

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) in flight near Atta Lodge, Iwokrama Rainforest, Guyana (Photo by Kester Clarke www.kesterclarke.net)

The Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) is a pernine raptor which breeds from the southeastern United States to eastern Peru and northern Argentina; North and Central American breeds winter in South America where the species is resident year round.

The Swallow-tailed Kite has a contrasting deep black and white body. The flight feathers, tail, feet, bill are all black. It has an elongated, forked tail.

It feeds on small reptiles, such as snakes and lizards. It may also feed on small amphibians such as frogs; large insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets; small birds and eggs; and small mammals including bats. It has been observed to regularly consume fruit in Central America. It drinks by skimming the surface and collecting water in its beak. 

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