- Specimen ID
Black-shouldered Kite perching on a pole. The Black-shouldered Kite, (Elanus axillaris) is a common small raptor found in open habitats throughout Australia. This species has benefitted from agricultural clearing and grain growing because its preferred prey are small rodents including the introduced House Mouse. Females are slightly heavier than males, but the sexes are virtually impossible to distinguish in the field. Although Black-shouldered Kites are specialist small mammal predators they take a range of other prey including large insects, small reptiles, small birds and rarely introduced rabbits. They hunt from a perch or more often by hovering, usually in the early morning or late afternoon, systematically scanning the ground for prey. These elegant birds are grey on the head, back and tail and white underneath. The leading edge of the wing is black and they have striking red eyes that are obvious in this video clip. Elevation: 3 m. Date added to IBC: April 15, 2018.
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