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Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 26,600,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 26,800,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Stable -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.6 - - -
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Algeria Native Extant       Yes
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Austria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Bangladesh Native Extant Yes      
Belgium Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Benin Native Extant       Yes
Botswana Native Extant       Yes
Brunei Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Bulgaria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Burkina Faso Native Extant       Yes
Burundi Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Native Extant Yes      
Cameroon Native Extant       Yes
Central African Republic Native Extant       Yes
Chad Native Extant       Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes      
Congo Native Extant       Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Denmark Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Djibouti Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Egypt Native Extant       Yes
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Eritrea Native Extant       Yes
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes
France Native Extant Yes      
Gabon Native Extant       Yes
Gambia Native Extant       Yes
Germany Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Ghana Native Extant       Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Greece Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant   Yes    
India Native Extant Yes      
Indonesia Native Extant Yes      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant   Yes    
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Israel Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Italy Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Kuwait Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Laos Native Extant Yes      
Lebanon Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Lesotho Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Native Extant       Yes
Libya Native Extant       Yes
Madagascar Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Malawi Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Native Extant Yes      
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Morocco Native Extant       Yes
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Myanmar Native Extant Yes      
Namibia Native Extant       Yes
Nepal Native Extant Yes      
Netherlands Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Niger Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
Oman Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Papua New Guinea Native Extant Yes      
Philippines Native Extant Yes      
Poland Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Portugal Native Extant       Yes
Qatar Vagrant Extant        
Romania Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Rwanda Native Extant       Yes
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes    
Senegal Native Extant       Yes
Sierra Leone Native Extant       Yes
Singapore Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
South Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant Yes      
Sudan Native Extant        
Swaziland Native Extant       Yes
Switzerland Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Syria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Thailand Native Extant Yes      
Timor-Leste Native Extant       Yes
Togo Native Extant       Yes
Tunisia Native Extant       Yes
Turkey Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Uganda Native Extant       Yes
United Arab Emirates Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Uzbekistan Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Vietnam Native Extant Yes      
Yemen Native Extant       Yes
Zambia Native Extant       Yes
Zimbabwe Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Portugal Albufeira do Caia site factsheet
Portugal Arraiolos site factsheet
Portugal Cabeção site factsheet
Portugal Cabrela site factsheet
Portugal Castro Verde plains site factsheet
Portugal Évora plains site factsheet
Portugal Monforte plains site factsheet
Portugal Mourão, Moura e Barrancos site factsheet
Portugal River Guadiana site factsheet
Portugal Serra de Penha Garcia e Campina de Toulões site factsheet
Portugal Tejo estuary site factsheet
Portugal Upper River Tejo site factsheet
Portugal Vila Fernando site factsheet
Spain Alcudia valley and mountain range site factsheet
Spain Campo Arañuelo-Valdecañas reservoir site factsheet
Spain Lácara-Morante site factsheet
Spain Monfragüe site factsheet
Spain Olivenza-La Albuera site factsheet
Spain Pela mountain range-Orellana reservoir-Zorita site factsheet
Spain Tietar valley site factsheet
Spain Trujillo-Torrecillas de la Tiesa site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest suitable resident
Desert Hot suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Elanus caeruleus. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Desfontaines, 1789)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 26,600,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change
- 2015 European Red List assessment