The Swallow-tailed Kite is an elegant looking bird of prey seen quite often soaring above the Kabalebo river.
The first time that I saw the Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) I thought at first of a big swallow. One of the most frequent mistakes made after seeing this bird for the first time. Just think about it: soaring above the river in a small group and a visible V-shaped tail…. ingredients for a swallow.
The Swallow-tailed Kite is anything but a swallow. First of all it is a bird of prey, an elegant bird of prey that is. Their menu is very diverse: from insects, lizards, frogs, fish, small birds and snakes. It is known to also catch live prey in flight, earning the nickname Flycatching raptor.
I have seen these gracious looking birds often soaring above the Kabalebo river or above the lodge. A couple of times I have spotted a flock with more than 40 Swallow-tailed Kites in the group. They were even joining the Black vultures group in the sky. It was a remarkable aerial show.
During a kayak trip I witnessed why it is known as the Flycatching raptor. While they were flying low above the Kabalebo river, some even were catching fish during the flight.
On another occasion I spotted a couple resting in one of the highest looking tree.
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