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Swallow-tailed Kite

Swallow-tailed Kite
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-09-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1600 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-09-25 7:37
Viewed: 2418
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Again a new species for TN.

The Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) is an elanid kite which breeds from the southeastern United States to eastern Peru and northern Argentina. Most North and Central American breeders winter in South America where the species is resident year round. It was formerly named Falco forficatus.

The species is 50 to 68 cm in length, with a wingspan of approximately 1.12–1.36 m. Male and female individuals appear similar. The body weight is 310–600 g. The body is a contrasting deep black and white. The flight feathers, tail, feet, bill are all black. Another characteristic is the elongated, forked tail at 27.5–37 centimetres, hence the name swallow-tailed. The wings are also relatively elongated, as the wing chord measures 39–45 cm. The tarsus is fairly short for the size of the bird at 3.3 cm.
Young Swallow-tailed Kites are duller in color than the adults, and the tail is not as deeply forked.

Habitat and behavior
Swallow-tailed Kites inhabit mostly woodland and forested wetlands near nesting locations. Nests are built in trees, usually near water. Both male and female participate in building the nest.
Sometimes a high-pitched chirp is emitted, though the birds mostly remain silent.
The Swallow-tailed Kite feeds on small reptiles, such as snakes and lizards. It may also feed on small amphibians such as frogs; large insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets; small birds and eggs; and small mammals including bats . It has been observed to regularly consume fruit in Central America. It drinks by skimming the surface and collecting water in its beak.

Mating occurs from March to May, with the female laying 2 to 4 eggs. Incubation lasts 28 days, and 36 to 42 days to fledge.

Conservation in the United States
Swallow-tailed Kites are not listed as endangered or threatened by the federal government in the United States. They are listed as endangered by the state of South Carolina and as threatened by the state of Texas. They are listed as "rare" by the state of Georgia. Destruction of habitats is chiefly responsible for the decline in numbers. A key conservation area is the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

Source: Wikipedia.

Hotelcalifornia, ramthakur, CeltickRanger, anel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2015-09-25 10:14]

Hi Peter,another great post on your recent serie about new species for TN,magnficent in flight capture,great timing and the best wings position and sharpness,i like it! Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter,

Again a new species! Congratulation for this beautiful bird.

Excellent POV and nicely placed the bird. Good work.
Thanks for showing such new attractive species,
Regards and have a nice WE,

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely in-flight falcon, wonderful natural colors, fine details, excellent sharpness and splendid light, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Indeed, it's the first post of this kind of a Kite here on TN, Peter. I didn't even imagine there could be 'Swallow-tailed' Kite in the world.
The in-flight picture gives a fine view of its nether wings and its typical forked tail. The partially clear sky forms a nice natural background.
Thanks for sharing this precious first image.

Excellent image about this Swallow-tailed Kite.

hallo Peter
Mooi genomen zo in vlucht
je kan zien dat hij groot is
goed van scherpte en pracht kleuren
gr lou

EXCELLENT capture in the flight.

Hello Peter
this shot is very beautiful, this flying bird is perfect photographed,
great details on the swallow, superb sky too
Have a good night

fantastic bird, great picture, greetings Ori

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2015-09-28 6:00]

Hello Peter,
very nice capture of this beautiful kite, good collors and underparts details, great POV and BG.well done Sigi

Hello Peter

Great in-flight shot of the Swallow-tailed Kite with fine POV
and framing, excellent focus, sharpness, details, and contrast, TFS


Hello Peter,
It is great to get this kite in action. Beautiful presentation.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2015-10-05 8:14]

Hello Peter,
A new species and a fine picture of it. One more picture taken in Brazil, I don't know how easy or difficult it is to identify the Brazilian birds
Take care

  • Great 
  • nofer Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1190 W: 366 N: 811] (2307)
  • [2015-12-08 9:03]

Excelente foto. Resolução, cores e ângulo. Parabéns. [ ]s from Brasil..................

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