Slender-billed kite

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Slender-billed kite
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Helicolestes
Bangs & T.E Penard, 1918
Species: H. hamatus
Binomial name
Helicolestes hamatus
(Temminck, 1821)

Rostrhamus hamatus

The slender-billed kite (Helicolestes hamatus) [2][3] is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes the eagles, hawks and Old World vultures. It is found near water in forested parts of tropical northern and central South America, and far eastern Panama.


Both genders resemble the male snail kite, and the slender-billed kite has often been included in the same genus, Rostrhamus. Adults always have yellow eyes and the all-dark tail is noticeably shorter than in the snail kite. Immatures resemble adults, but have brownish eyes and three (incl. tip) narrow white bands in the tail.


As in the snail kite, the unusually shaped bill is an adaption for feeding on aquatic snails, and while it sometimes takes crabs, it mainly feeds on snails of the genus Pomacea.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Helicolestes hamatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Resurrect the monotypic genus Helicolestes for the Slender-billed Kite
  3. ^ A classification of the bird species of South America

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