EXIF: Canon EOS 500D, f/8, 1/500 Sec, ISO 400, 300mm, Spot metering
The Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) is a small diurnal bird of prey in the family Accipitridae best known for its habit of hovering over open grasslands in the manner of the much-smaller kestrels. This Eurasian and African species was sometimes combined with the Australian Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) and the White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) of North and South America which together form a superspecies. This kite is distinctive, with long-wings, white, grey and black plumage and owl like forward-facing eyes with red irides. Although mainly seen on the plains, they are sometimes seen on grassy slopes of hills in the higher elevation regions of Asia. They are not migratory, but make short-distance movements in response to weather.
This bird is distinctive in being long winged and predominantly grey or white with black shoulder patches, wing tips and eye stripe. The long falcon-like wings extend beyond the tail when the bird is perched. In flight, the short and square tail is visible and it is not forked as in the typical kites of the genus Milvus. When perched, often on roadside wires, it often adjusts its wings and jerks its tail up and down as if to balance itself. The sexes are alike in plumage. Their large forward-facing eyes and velvety plumage are characters that are shared with owls and the genus itself has been considered as a basal group within the Accipitridae.