Hook-billed Kite Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A medium-sized raptor with a large head and a very large, hooked bill. It has a long tail and very rounded wings often described as paddle shaped.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Broad-winged, smaller than a Red-tailed Hawk.

    Relative Sizebetween crow and goosebetween crow and goose
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 15.3-20.1 in (39-51 cm)
      • Weight: 7.6-9.8 oz (215-277 g)
      • Wingspan: 30.7-38.6 in (78-98 cm)

Regional Differences

The subspecies found in the United States is uncinatus. On the island of Grenada, subspecies mirus is smaller and lacks the black morph. A subspecies known as Cuban Kite, sometimes recognized as a full species, is critically endangered and endemic to Cuba. It has a large, all-yellow bill and a barred collar.

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