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Christine: There are now 2 separate species.
The Black Shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) is an Australian bird
Our U.S. Bird found in South Texas formerly was the Black Shouldered, but the name was changed.
Our Texas bird is now the White Tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus).
It is confusing for sure.:-)
Dave Pierce
St. Louis County

On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 8:16 PM, Christine Kline <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I am very confused about the Black-shouldered Kite:

 

It does not appear in my Sibley or Peterson guides, but it is in the Birds of Texas guide.

Wikipedia says it can be found in Australia, but there are three range maps for it that include the southern US, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

The USFWS has done a breeding and habitat survey on it for the state of Texas, but other than a range map and an old guide, there’s no indication they are found in the US.

 

Here is the description from the Birds of Texas guide:

Gray above; white below; red eyes and yellow legs; black shoulders; in flight note white tail and silvery wings with baclk wrist mark.  Immature:  Rusty wash on back, head, and breast.  Habits:  Often hovers while foraging.  Voice: A shrill “kee kee kee,” etc.  Habitat:  Prairie, savanna, thorn forest.  Texas:  common winter resident (Nov. – Mar.), uncommon summer resident* along cenral and lower coastal plain.  Range:  Resident from Oregon, California, Oklahoma, and Louisiana south to central Argentina; also in Old World tropics and subtropics.

 

Can someone tell me about the Black-shouldered Kite and how it differs from the White-tailed Kite?  If it can be found in the US, why isn’t it in our guides?

 

Christine Kline

Chair, Communications & Events

Co-Chair, Wings Over Weston

 


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D. Pierce
Senior Dogs 4 Seniors
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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