Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

male Snail Kite

male Snail Kite

The Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is a bird of prey occurring in wetlands of southern and central America including populations on Cuba and southern Florida. True to its name the species feeds mostly on large freshwater snails while crabs and fishes account for only a small part of the diet. The birds are medium-sized with a wing-span of up to 1.2 m. Their most characteristic feature is the long, strongly curved bill specialized on pulling the soft parts of a snail out of its shell. Similarly striking are their large and piercing red eyes. I have photographed this bird on Barro Colorado Island in Panama during a visit in March 2014.

male Snail Kite

male Snail Kite

male Snail Kite

male Snail Kite

4 responses to “Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

    • wow – thank you!! 🙂 unfortunately I saw this kite only for a short time – and without a snail… I guess I have to come back for that!! 🙂

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