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The black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus)

This is the very attractive and relatively small black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus), which I have also heard called the black-shouldered kite, (but there is an Australian species of the same common name, so don't be confused...). This one I shot in Mai Po earlier this week, in the last rays of the setting sun, just illuminating it. This is a massive crop, as it was a long way away, even for a big telephoto....

The dark grey is the mountainside behind, already dark with little light falling on it.

This pretty bird, with red eyes, is a small diurnal bird of prey.

As I watched from afar (and please forgive the quality of these next photos) it demonstrated its habit of hovering over grassland (like a kestrel) then began a dive....

It then came over to land nearer to me on the exposed stick, still some ways away across the marshes.


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