Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hook-billed Kite: adult female light morph


This is a adult female light morph Hook-billed Kite that I observed and photographed yesterday near the Mission bike trail as it flew back across with 2 other Hook-billed Kites during the 3rd fly by. Most outstanding is her much heavier banding than the adult male I posted below.

Wheeler in his Raptors of Western North America describes the head of adult female light morphs as follows: "Gray forehead with a gray area above and under the eyes." (p.78)--these features can be seen in the first photo. He also says they have a black cap and this can also be discerned in that first photo.

Wheeler says the upperwings are 'dark grayish brown'. He further states, "Whitish underside of all remiges are distinctly barred with dark brown and have a wide dark ban on the trailing edge." (p.78) Those features are seen quite well in several of these photos.

The females wide grayish tail band in mid-sectio can be seen on the upperside of her tail best in the 6th photo. And I think that this photo also shows the 'narrower basal gray band' as described by Wheeler. ([.79)

I have some photos of the other Hook-billed Kites I photographed yesterday and will post them later. SeEtta