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Common name Black-winged kite
Scientific name Elanus caeruleus
Type Farmland birds
Status Resident

Predatory bird of small size (about 36 cm or 14 in) and also small wingspan (about 85 cm or 33.5 in). Upperparts of slightly bluish grey ash tone, black shoulders, white underparts. Big head with grey tones and red eyes; white throat and cheeks. When perched, it looks like a pale bird in which the head and short tail stand out. In flight the white underparts with the black wingtips are observed. It is usually hovering, like kestrels. Wings in the shape of "v".


Cultivated areas

Where it lives

African raptor that for the last half century has expanded from the south of the peninsula to the north. Species associated with agricultural areas with scattered trees. Preference for rainfed farmlands, meadows, pasturelands and broom formations.

How it lives

Species resident in the province all year round. It breeds in March. Nest in trees and sometimes in electricity turrets. One laying of 2 to 5 eggs. Specialized in the capture of micromammals, although it also consumes small reptiles and insects. The Black-Winged Kite is one of the main natural controllers of the plagues of voles.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Raptor that little by little is becoming frequent, especially in the region of Antequera and the fertile plains of the Guadalhorce River in general. It can be observed in the surroundings of the Fuente de Piedra lagoon and in the northeastern region (stages 12 and 18 of the Great Path).

Curious facts

The Black-Winged Kite’s eyes are red for a reason: the tone of their iris serves to increase its visual acuity. It filters the blue spectrum of the atmospheric light and in this way the colour contrast of the coat of rodents and other prey that usually move on the ground is accentuated. It is an adaptation that allows these birds to be more effective pest hunters.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration