Slender-billed Kite (Helicolestes hamatus)

Order: Accipitriformes | Family: Accipitridae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonia, Ecuador

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonia, Brazil

Age: Juvenile|Sub-adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. NE Peru | E Ecuador

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonia, Ecuador

Identification & Behavior: ~36.5 cm (14.3 in). The adult Slender-billed Kite is uniformly sooty-gray. The base of the bill and legs are orange. The eyes are pale yellow. The juvenile is gray with pale barring on the underparts and rusty fringes of feathers on the upperparts. The tail in the juvenile shows a white middle tail band. The sub-adult shows a variable amount of whitish tips on the tail. It is similar to the Snail Kite but is distinguished by being uniformly sooty gray without any white in the rump, vent, and tail, and by a pale yellow iris. Also, see Slate-colored Hawk.

Status: The Slender-billed Kite is rare but locally uncommon in Amazonia. It favors oxbow lakes with grassy edges, marshes and habitat types likely to have apple snails; the kite’s main food item. It favors more wooded and narrow lakes or bodies of water than the Snail Kite. It also occurs in Co, Ec, Br, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Elanio de Pico Delgado.

Sub-species: Slender-billed Kite (Helicolestes hamatus), Temminck 1821.

Meaning of Name: Helicolestes: Gr. helix, helikos = spiral, snail shell; and lëistës= thief. hamatus: L. curved, hook-shaped.

See more of the Family Accipitridae   peru aves

Distribution Map
slender-billed kiteVoice


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 01/01/2015.