Kite

KiteKite — Kites are raptors with long wings and weak legs which spend a great deal of time soaring. Most feed mainly on carrion but some take various amounts of live prey.

They are birds of prey which, along with hawks and eagles, are from the family Accipitridae.

Together with less closely related groups such as New World vultures and Osprey, they make up the diurnal bird of prey order Falconiformes.

They are distinguished by their graceful, gliding flight and occur most commonly near water or wetlands. Kites are classified in three subfamilies: Elaninae, or the white-tailed kites; Perninae, or the fork-tailed kites (and honey buzzards); and Milvinae, or the true kites.

The swallow-tailed kite, Elanoides forficatus, found from the southeastern United States and the West Indies to northern Argentina, is slim, black above, and white below and has a white head and a long, deeply forked tail.

It spends most of the time on the wing, feeding on the larger flying insects and skimming the water to bathe and drink. The Everglade kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis, found from southern Florida into Argentina, is heavier-bodied, dark, with a broad white band across the tail. It feeds exclusively on snails. Some Old World species are scavengers.

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