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Common Name : Black-winged Kite     -       Scientific Name : Elanus caeruleus       -       Other Name : Black-shouldered Kite (E), Pathan Ukussa (S)
Kirimetiyawa
01/04/2015
Pallekandal Pitiya
04/03/2015
Pallekandal Pitiya
04/03/2015
Pallekandal Pitiya
04/03/2015
Pallekandal Pitiya
04/03/2015

This is an uncommon breeding resident found through out the country. It is usually associated with open grasslands where they hunt for small reptiles and filed mice. It is also found in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Near Threatened” (National Red List 2012).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

I have seen this species at many localities through out the country but never found it to be common at any location except at Udawalawa National Park where I have seen it during each of my visits. In 1995 I observed a pair nesting at Horton Plains, a short distance from the hotel “Farr Inn” which used to be operated by the Ceylon Hotels Corporation. I have seen them at most National Parks, the Knuckles Forest Reserve, Haragama, Rassagala Diyawella Forest Reserve, Kadugannawa, Potuwil, Monaragala Mountain, Ampara, Kandakaduwa, Haggala and at Koslanda. In the north I have seen it at Arippu, Mannar Island, Kanakarayankulam, Omanthai and Jaffna Peninsular.

The characteristic behaviour of this species is its ability to hover. I have often observed this species hovering over grass fields and drop in to the grass in pursuit of its prey.

This is not a common species at Wilpattu. I have seen it at the park entrance, Kirimatiyawa, just out side the park, and at Pallekandal Pitiya.