Black-shouldered Kite ( Elanus caeruleus, family: Accipitridae)

Kruger Park Black Shouldered KiteThe Black-shouldered Kite (Latin name Elanus caeruleus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 127 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 478 also a picture of the Black-shouldered Kite on page 433. The Black-shouldered Kite belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

black shoudered kite kruger national park birds The Black-shouldered Kite is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Black-shouldered Kite in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Black-shouldered Kite : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Black-shouldered Kite is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Black-shouldered Kite is about 30 cms and its weight is about 240 gms

The male and female Black-shouldered Kite have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is grey.
  • Eye is red.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is grey, white.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Black-shouldered Kite feeds on the ground mainly

Smaller animals

Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Black-shouldered Kite is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Elanus caeruleus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Black-shouldered Kite is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are brown in colour and number between 2 to 6

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Black-shouldered Kite are: woodlands and arid areas including grasslands. The Black-shouldered Kite is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the Black-shouldered Kite by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Umdlampuku/Unongwevana

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Blouvalk

German ... Gleitaar

Portuguese ... Peneireiro-cinzento

French ... lanion blanc

Dutch ... Grijze Wouw

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 127

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,