Neotropical Birds logo
Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version

 - Plumbeous Kite
 - Plumbeous Kite

Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea

Hilary Yu
Version: 1.0 — Published October 11, 2012

Sign in to see your badges


Plumbeous Kite is a slender, gray raptor of forests and forest edges. It is apparently resident throughout much of northern South America, with migratory populations north to Mexico and perhaps south to northern Argentina. It closely resembles the highly migratory Mississippi Kite (I. mississippiensis), which occurs within its range during migration and winter. Plumbeous is darker gray overall than Mississippi, lacks the white secondary patches of that species, and has unique rufous tones on the inner webs of the primaries. It feeds on insects from a perch or while in flight over the forest, particularly over the canopy or along edges. Some Plumbeous Kites also follow primates to prey on insects that are flushed by the monkeys. The stick nest of a breeding pair is placed high in a tree.

Distribution of the Plumbeous Kite - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Plumbeous Kite

Recommended Citation

Yu, H. (2012). Plumbeous Kite (Ictinia plumbea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.plukit1.01