White-Tailed Kite

Elanus leucurus

The White-tailed Kite has gray and black on its wings, but when it hovers high in the air, it appears pure white. It faces the wind, wings raised high, tail feathers spread out like a fan. When it spots a scurrying rodent, down it drops, feet first. With weaker feet than Northern Harriers or Red-tailed Hawks, White-tailed Kites are dependent on smaller prey: the mice and voles that live in undeveloped marshes and grasslands.

Fun Fact:
The way this raptor hovers in one place, facing the wind, is so distinctive, it's become known as "kiting."

What’s for Lunch:
Usually a California vole

Where’s Home:
Nearby woodlands, year-round