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Harpagus bidentatus

Double-toothed Kite

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic 2 Subspecies


Harpagus bidentatus

Plantation Road, Gamboa, Panama; 5 March 2013 © Peter Lindenburg

The Double-toothed Kite is named for its most distinguishing morphological trait, the presence of two tomial "teeth:" tooth-like emarginations on the cutting edge of the maxilla (upper mandible). The Double-toothed Kite often is seen following troops of monkeys through the canopy. These monkeys often make a large amount of commotion in the canopy of the forests and disturb many kinds of insects and lizards. To take advantage of this resource, the kite often perchesl within 30 meters of the foraging troop and waits for prey to flush. The Double-toothed Kite is distributed throughout the Neotropics, occurring from southernmost Mexico south to southeast Brazil. Though superficially similar to many small raptors, especially Accipiters, its white leg tufts, dark line down the throat and behavior are enough to separate from all other species of raptor in the Neotropics.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Double-toothed Kite (Harpagus bidentatus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

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