|Photo by Douglas Oliveira (Aves de Rapina Brasil)|
pearl kite (en); gaviãozinho (pt); élanion perle (fr); elanio enano (es); perlaar (de)
This species is found from Nicaragua south to Bolivia and northern Argentina, also occuring in the island of Trinidad.
These birds are 20-23 cm long and have a wingspan of 50-58 cm. They weigh 80-115 g.
The pearl kite is mostly found in dry savannas, also using open tropical forests and woodlands, second growths, dry scrublands, wet grasslands, agricultural areas and even within urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.
They mainly hunt lizard, especially Anolis sp., but also insects, frogs and small birds.
Pearl kites nest in a small, shallow platform made of fine twigs, which is built by both sexes and placed high up in a tree. The female lays 2-4 white eggs with brownish of greyish-violet markings, which she mainly incubates alone for 28-35 days. The chicks are fed by the female, while the male provides her food, and fledge about 5 weeks after hatching.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1.000-10.000 individuals. The pearl kite is currently expanding in range as deforestation creates new areas of suitable habitat.