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Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Hilary Yu

Plumbeous Kite is a slender, gray raptor of forests and forest edges. It is apparently resident throughout much of northern South America, with migratory populations north to Mexico and perhaps south to northern Argentina. It closely resembles the highly migratory Mississippi Kite (I. mississippiensis), which occurs within its range during migration and winter. Plumbeous is darker gray overall than Mississippi, lacks the white secondary patches of that species, and has unique rufous tones on the inner webs of the primaries. It feeds on insects from a perch or while in flight over the forest, particularly over the canopy or along edges. Some Plumbeous Kites also follow primates to prey on insects that are flushed by the monkeys. The stick nest of a breeding pair is placed high in a tree.


© Curtis Marantz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Yu, H. (2012). Plumbeous Kite (Ictinia plumbea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.