Hawks and Eagles (Accipitridae)

Common Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) - HBW 2, p. 115

French: Élanion blanc German: Gleitaar Spanish: Elanio Común
Other common names: Black-shouldered/Black-winged Kite

Taxonomy: Falco caeruleus Desfontaines, 1789, Algiers.
Genus closely related to Chelictinia. Forms superspecies with E. leucurus and E. axillaris, and all three sometimes considered conspecific. Race hypoleucus has been considered separate species. Birds of Sumatra have been awarded separate race, sumatranus, but validity doubtful. Four subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • caeruleus (Desfontaines, 1789) - SW Iberian Peninsula, most of Africa and SW Arabia.
  • vociferus (Latham, 1790) - Pakistan E to S & E China, Indochina and Malay Peninsula.
  • hypoleucus Gould, 1859 - Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Philippines, Sulawesi, Kalao and Lesser Sundas.
  • wahgiensis Mayr & Gilliard, 1954 - New Guinea.