Elanus caeruleus  Black-winged Kite  Blouvalk
Black-shouldered Kite
Mooimeisiesfontein, Jan 2018

Resident. Common and widespread (recorded in 63% of the pentads) but occurring with greatest frequency in the areas where past or present cultivation has replaced woodland with open landscapes. It is a rodent-hunting specialist that preys largely on diurnal species such as Otomys and Rhabdomys and its abundance in an area varies over time, apparently in response to varying rodent abundance. Ringing of these birds elsewhere has shown that individuals seldom remain in one place for long and they move about widely in South Africa, seemingly in response to cyclic changes in rodent populations. Breeds in late summer.

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