Snail Kite

From SongbirdReMixWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Image:SnailKite.jpg

Common Name: Snail Kite
Scientific Name: Rostrhamus sociabilis

Size: 14-19 inches (36-48 cm); Wingspan: 39-47 inches (99-120 cm)

Habitat: The Americas; breeds in tropical South America, the Caribbean, and central and southern Florida in the United States. It is resident all-year in most of its range, but the southernmost population migrates north in winter and the Caribbean birds disperse widely outside the breeding season.

Their main habitat requirements are open marshes that have been continuously flooded for at least two years, which allows the apple snails to accumulate to a sufficient density. In areas where the snails are abundant the Snail Kite will occur in very high densities and will often congregate in communal roosts numbering up to 1000 individuals.

Status: Least Concern to Endangered. Global population: Unknown amount of adult individuals with an increasing population trend. The snail kite is a locally endangered species in the Florida Everglades, with a population of less than 400 breeding pairs. Research has demonstrated that water-level control in the Everglades is depleting the population of apple snails. However, this species is not generally threatened over its extensive range. This may change due to this raptors’ specialized diet which restricts it to certain habitats and makes it vulnerable if the habitat is destroyed or altered.

Diet: Primarily Apple Snails (Pomacea). Crayfish (Procambarus) and black crappie are alternatives, but only when apple snails become scarce, such as during drought. It flies slowly with its head facing downwards, looking for apple snails.

Nesting: The adult male has dark blue-gray plumage with darker flight feathers. The legs and cere are red. The adult female is about 3% larger, has dark brown upperparts and heavily streaked pale underparts. She has a whitish face with darker areas behind and above the eye. The legs and cere are yellow or orange. The immature is similar to adult female, but the crown is streaked.

It nests in a bush or on the ground, laying 3–4 eggs.

Cool Facts: Of all the birds of prey in the world, the Snail Kite is one of the most specialized feeders. They eat primarily freshwater snails.


This 3D model is found in Songbird ReMix Birds of Prey Volume III: Hawks of the New World

Personal tools