Elanus coeruleus

Elanus coeruleus, Desf.

59. :- Elanus melanopterus, Daud. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 112; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 449 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 375 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 92 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 58 ; Hume's Scrap Book, p. 338.


Length, 12 to 13 ; expanse, 34 to 35; wing, 10 to 11.75 ; tail, 5.25 to 5.75 ; tarsus, 1.1 to 1.3 ; bill from gape, 0.95 to 1.15.

Legs and feet bright yellow; claws black ; bill black, cere and base of lower mandible yellow; irides bright crimson in the adult, yellowish-pink or bright yellow in the young.

Plumage. :- Adult: forehead a narrow streak above the dark supercilium; the anterior portion of the lores, the chin, cheeks, ear-coverts, throat and whole lower parts, wing-lining, edge of the wing, and all but the central tail-feathers white; the external webs of all, but the two exterior on each side of these, more or less faintly tinged grey; posterior portion of lores, a narrow supercilium, a small patch of coverts just at the origin of the primaries, nearly hidden by the winglet, (which is grey and not black, as Dr. Jerdon gives it), and the whole of the lesser-coverts, and the median, secondary, and tertiary coverts black; the wing patch more or less glossy, with the browner bases of the feathers showing through, and usually with more or less of a greyish bloom most conspicuous over the forearm; the rest of the upper plumage grey (of very different shades in different individuals, but always darkest on the primaries,scapulars and interscapulary region) which varies from a full slate-grey to a pale almost pearl-grey.

The Black-winged Kite is more or less common throughout the whole district; it is a permanent resident, but I have been unable to ascertain anything in regard to its breeding, and the published accounts are at present misleading.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Elanus coeruleus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black-winged Kite
Black-winged Kite
Elanus caeruleus
Term name: 

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