This hawk like bird of prey is sometimes referred to as the "Black Shouldered Kite". This is one of the strangest birds of prey I have ever seen. It hunts by hovering in place, similiar to a Kestrel or Osprey, and can do so for a fairly long period of time. They will hover up to 100 feet above their unsuspecting prey. They hunt rodent, snakes, smaller birds, and amphibians.
Overall light gray/white body with black shoulders. Black area around eye. Short black hooked beak. Black carpal patches. Red eye. Pointed wings. 14 to 15 inches in length. 40 inch wingspan.
Open coastal plains and marshes.
4-5 white eggs with lots of brown spots and a 30 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 35-40 days after hatching. The nest is made from twigs and sticks, lined with grass. The nest is usually built in a tall tree near water.
- Mission Trails Park, San Diego
- Rose Canyon, University City
- Santa Ysabel area