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Square-tailed Kite - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Peter Day
Belair Conservation Park, South Australia, December 2020
Lophoictinia isura


Obvious on the sitting bird is the very long wings going well past the tail; long wings are also visible, if less obvious, in the flying bird.

Similar species

Little Eagle has tricolored underside of arm while Whistling Kite has only two colors when going front to back. Little Eagle also has shorter tail and wings.


Australia: widely distributed but generally rare with records from all mainland states. Possibly most numerous in Western Australia but nomadic and could be seen virtually throughout the country.

Rarest in the south-east.


Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia 2014

This is a monotypic species[1].


Open woodland, grassland with scattered trees, riverine woodland and rocky gorges.


Often plunders nests of birds (most often honeyeaters) with large, almost grown, nestlings.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing id of Square-tailed Kite vs Little Eagle

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External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1