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Swallow-tailed Kite

Swallow-tailed Kite - Bird Species | Frinvelis jishebi | ფრინველის ჯიშები

Swallow-tailed Kite

Overview
Swallow-tailed Kite: The largest of North America kites, has black upperparts which contrast with white head and underparts. In flight it shows long pointed wings with black flight feathers and white wing linings. Has a 15-16 inch-long black tail with deep fork. The neck, breast and belly are white.

Range and Habitat
Swallow-tailed Kite: Breeds mainly on or near coasts from Texas east to Florida, and north to South Carolina; local farther inland in Gulf states. Winters in American tropics. Also breeds in tropics. Inhabits swamps, marshes, river bottoms, and glades in open forests.

The Swallow-tailed Kite has a large range, estimated at 12,000,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas and nearby island nations, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical forest ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 100,000 to 1,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Swallow-tailed Kite is Least Concern.

INTERESTING FACTS
The Swallow-tailed Kite is perhaps the most adept and acrobatic flier of all the raptors. In some nests two eggs are laid, but the first chick that hatches kills the younger chick. Ornithologists refer to this as obligate siblicide. The scientific name comes from a Latin-Greek hybridization of the words elanus, meaning a kite; eidos, meaning to resemble or be similar to; and forfex, for scissors, which refers to the forked tail. A group of kites has many collective nouns, including a "brood", "kettle", "roost", "stooping", and "string" of kites.

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