Elanus Sav., Syst. Ois. d'Egypte, p. 274 (1809).
Type, Falco coeruleus Desf.
The genus Elanus embraces a few species of rather small birds allied to the Kites and represented in America, Africa and Asia to Australia.
The bill is small, wide at the base and compressed at the end, the culmen sharply curved from the cere; the festoon is distinct; the nostrils oval and nearly horizontal, protected by long loral bristles; wings long and pointed, reaching beyond the tip of the tail; second quill longest.