Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

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

Age: Adult | Sex: Male | Loc. Amazonia, Colombia

Age: Adult | Sex: Female | Loc. Amazonia, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Female | Loc. Southwest Ecuador

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

Identification & Behavior:~42.5 cm (17 in). The adult male Snail Kite is all sooty-gray with orange ceres, lores, and legs. The female is brownish black with yellow ceres, lores, and legs. The juvenile is like the female, but browner. All plumage stages show a white base of the tail and rump, vent area, and a white terminal band. The adult male is similar to the Slender-billed Kite but is distinguished by the white base of the tail, white rump and brown iris.

Status: The Snail Kite is rare to uncommon in oxbow lakes with grassy edges, marshes and habitat types likely to have apple snails, the kite’s main food item. It also occurs in Co, Ec, Br, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Elanio Caracolero.

Sub-species: Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis sociabilis), Vieillot 1817.

Meaning of Name: Rostrhamus: L. rostrum = beak; and hamus = hook. sociabilis: L. sociabilis, socius = sociable, share.

See more of the Family Accipitridae   peru aves

Distribution Map
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    • 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.