BLACK-WINGED KITE; BIRDS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

Scientifically referred to as Elanus caeruleus, the black-winged kite is one of the impressive bird species thriving in Uganda Safari tour destinations.  The Black-winged Kite is a small diurnal bird of prey belonging to Accipitridae family.

The Black winged Kite is marked by long wings with grey and black plumage while the forward facing eyes like those of an owl feature red irises as always viewed by birders on birding safaris in Uganda.

This bird species thrives mainly in open land along with semi-deserts of Sub-Saharan Africa including East Africa and Uganda in particular where it’s explored on Uganda birding tours.  The bird species also thrives in tropical Asia.

Regarding breeding, the Black-winged Kite is noted to breed at various times of the years across its spectrum. The courtship is marked by noise and chases but once the pair is formed, copulation occurs frequently. Their nest stands as a loose twig platform where 3 – 4 pale cream eggs with deep red spots are laid. The nest construction is done majorly by the female while incubation is done by both parents and after hatching, the male majorly forages for food.  The young ones remain dependent for food up to a range of 80 days after the day of hatching.

The Black-winged kite feeds include among others; crickets, grasshoppers along with other large insects, rodents and Lizards as at times viewed on Uganda safaris and tours. The small snakes, injured birds and frogs are reported to be among their prey.

The roosting of the Black winged Kites is communal with a group range of 15 – 35 members converging at an expanse leafy tree. They are very silent and some of the recorded calls include soft whistle or high-pitched squeal. The Black-winged Kites mainly call during the breeding season.

The Black-winged Kite is listed as the species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).