Black Winged Kite


Black winged kite is a small bird of prey. It is a diurnal bird.

In this article we will explore where to spot this bird, and learn more about its habits and habitat.

Habitat: Best places to spot Black-winged kite

Black-winged kite found in Savannahs, semi-desert grasslands, steppes and cultivated plains with thickets. The bird is found in the vicinity of water in dry areas.

Nesting Habits

In India nesting is seen throughout the year except April and May. New nest is built every time in the same place. The nest is a loose platform of twigs. Male brings nest material while nest building is done by female.

Food Habits


Black winged kite flies slowly over ground so as to hunt, it also hovers sometimes. It feeds on grasshoppers, crickets and other large insects, lizards and rodents.

Plumage: How does this bird looks?

Black-winged kite is grey or white with red eyes and black shoulders. Upper parts are bluish-grey. The wings are long and pointed. The tail is short and square, but it is not forked. The outer tail feathers are white, while the central are bluish-grey. Underparts are white. Outer primaries are black. Head is white, eyes have small black mask around them. Bill is black and short with a hooked upper mandible. It has yellow cere. Eyes are front facing with red irises. Legs are short bare. Legs and feet are yellow. Both the sexes are similar. Juveniles are like adults, with sooty-grey shoulders and pale brown to brownish-orange eyes.


Black winged kite breeds at different times of the year across its range. Female lays 3-5 eggs. Incubation period is about 25-28 days. Young ones fledge by 30-35 days.


Black winged kite is roosts communally. It is usually silent, but may utter some sounds which include varied weak whistling calls.


This is non-migratory bird, but short distance movements are seen in response to weather.


  • Kingdom – Animalia
  • Phylum – Chordata
  • Class – Aves
  • Order – Accipitriformes
  • Family – Accipi tridae
  • Genus – Elanus
  • Species – E. Caerleus
  • Binomial name – Elanus Caeruleus

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