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Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus

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

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 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 (2014) Species factsheet: Elanus caeruleus. Downloaded from on 10/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 10/07/2014.

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 (Osprey, kites, hawks and 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
- Climate change species distributions