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Leptodon cayanensis

Leptodon cayanensis (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Falconiformes
Familia: Accipitridae
Subfamilia: Perninae
Genus: Leptodon
Species: Leptodon cayanensis
Subspecies: L. c. cayanensis - L. c. monachus


Leptodon cayanensis (Latham, 1790)


Index ornithologicus 1 p.28

Vernacular names
Česky: Luňákovec šedohlavý
English: Gray-headed Kite
Español: Milano cabecigrís
Português: Gavião-de-cabeça-cinza

The Gray-headed Kite, Leptodon cayanensis, is a raptor found in open woodland and swamp forests. It shares the genus Leptodon with the extremely rare White-collared Kite. It breeds from eastern Mexico and Trinidad south to Peru, Bolivia ,Brazil and northern Argentina.

The nest is made of sticks lined with grass and is built high in a tree. The clutch is one or two white eggs, purplish at one end and spotted brown.

The Gray-headed Kite is 46-53 cm in length and weighs 410-605 g. The adult has a grey head, black upperparts, white underparts, and a black tail with two or three white bars. The bill is blue and the legs grey. The flight is a deliberate flap-flap-glide.

Immature birds have two colour morphs; the light phase is similar to the adult, but has a white head and neck, with a black crown and eyestripe, black bill and yellow legs. The dark phase has a blackish head, neck and upperparts, and dark-streaked buff underparts.

The Gray-headed Kite feeds mainly on reptiles, but also takes frogs and large insects. It usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey. The call is a mewling keow.


* BirdLife International (2004). Leptodon cayanensis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
* Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
* A guide to the birds of Costa Rica by Stiles and Skutch ISBN 0-8014-9600-4

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