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Gray-headed Kite - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Cayenne Kite

Subspecies cayanensis
Photo © by rdavis
La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, December 2015
Leptodon cayanensis


43–54 cm (17-21¼ in)

  • Light grey head
  • Grey upperparts
  • White underparts

Similar Species

Subspecies cayanensis
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Dulce, Osa Peninsula, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica, February 2015

Similar to White-collared Kite.


Central and South America.
Breeds in Mexico from southern Tamaulipas to Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula and south to Panama. In South America breeds from Colombia, Venezuela and Trinidad south to Bolivia and northern Argentina.



Juvenile, subspecies cayanensis
Photo © by njlarsen
Buenaventura, SW Ecuador, 6 June 2019

Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • L. c. cayanensis:
  • L. c. monachus;


Tropical forest, particularly along rivers and streams, savannas and swamps.


Perches high in trees and can be difficult to see.


A very varied diet, consisting of insects, hornets, wasps, eggs, birds and lizards etc.


Resident. Uncommon in north of range.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2014)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.