Snail Kite

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Snail Kite
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Snail Kite


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Rostrhamus
Species:R. sociabilis
Binomial name
Rostrhamus sociabilis
(Vieillot, 1817)

The Snail Kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis, is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes the eagles, hawks and Old World vultures.

The Snail Kite is a resident breeder in tropical South America, the Caribbean and southern Florida, USA.

This is a bird of fresh water wetlands, which nests in a bush or on the ground laying 3-4 eggs. It is 45cm long with a 120cm wingspan. It is a gregarious species, forming large winter roosts.

The Snail Kite has long, broad, and rounded wings. It is long-tailed, with a white rump and undertail coverts. Its dark, deeply hooked beak is an adaptation to its diet, which consists almost exclusively of Apple Snails. The adult male has dark blue-grey plumage, with darker flight feathers. The legs and cere are red.

The adult female has dark brown upperparts and heavily streaked pale underparts. She has a whitish face with darker areas behind and above the eye. The legs and cere are yellow or orange. The immature is similar to adult female, but the crown is streaked.

The flight is slow, with the Kite's head facing downwards as it looks for snails.nl:Moeraswouw

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