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Black-winged kite

Black-winged kite
Photo Information
Copyright: Annick Vanderschelden (vanderschelden) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2553 W: 74 N: 7464] (30441)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Namibia, a photographer's dream
Theme(s): vanderschelden's birds, Birds of Namibia, Etosha National Park [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-02-01 4:16
Viewed: 5308
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Yesterday(previous post)I looked into the "road map and photo gallery of etosha" from Claudia & Wynand du Plessis to find this bird of prey's identification.
I decided this was a Pygmy falcon.

Steve replied it was a Black-winged kite.
I verified the Black-winged kite through the above mentioned map once again and couldn't find the photo of this specie.
Afterwards I tried the Etosha map (the Honeyguide publication).
And there I found two drawings of Kite species:
the Yellow-billed kite and the Black-shouldered kite.
Couldn't find the Black-winged kite.

In wikipedia I found that the Black-winged Kite
was formerly referred to as the Black-shouldered Kite, but this name is now only used for the Australian species, Elanus axillaris, which at one time was treated as a subspecies of E. caeruleus.
This photo was photographed in Etosha and therefore the name should be Black-winged kite.
I couldn't find what the differences are between the African version, the Black-winged kite and the down under version, the Black-shouldered guide. Maybe Steve can help again...

Secondly I posted once again this specie, the Black-winged kite. So this is the same specie as posted yesterday. It's also the same bird. The optical object distance was also identical as well as point of view. Only its pose was slightly different. It's a crop and I retouched some green as well.

From wikipedia...
This species was formerly referred to as the Black-shouldered Kite, but this name is now only used for the Australian species, Elanus axillaris, which at one time (along with the American White-tailed Kite E. leucurus) was treated as a subspecies of E. caeruleus.
More info

Thanks for looking and have a nice day...

Miss_Piggy, matatur, boreocypriensis, nglen, eng55, Heaven, Argus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To cuckooroller: Thanks Steve,vanderschelden 4 02-02 00:47
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Annick
Superb photography, with splendid details and wonderful colours shown in this image. The colour of the sky is magnificent. The intense stare of the bird is great, and the colour of the eye is kind of magnetic. I like the finely white lining alongside the edges of the feathers. It is as if the pasty white tint is there but only almost. I also like the fluffy feathers in the neck; it stands out well against the lovely blue background. A great image with wonderful composition, focus and sharpness. I thank you kindly for sharing.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-02-01 5:21]

Hallo Annick,
Oeps, ook ik was er in geluisd. Totaal niet op gelet of het de goede ID was. Dit is inderdaad de Grijze Wouw, geen misverstand mogelijk.
Een werkelijk schitterende foto in een iets andere pose en uitsnede dan de vorige foto. Wel zo mooi! Vooral die blik in de ogen maakt nu veel meer indruk. Grote klasse!

hallo Annick
mooie compositie
goed van scherpte en zachte kleuren
great shot
greeting lou


Actually, I called it Elanus caeruleus, as is my norm since I try and avoid using English Common Names for the reason that I am sure you have now understood. There is no equivocation possible using the scientific binomen (i.e., the Latin name).

Will try and find time as to the current phylogenetic treatment of what was once the so-called Elanus leucurus-axillaris-caeruleus complex (a superspecies), how they differ morphologically, and the motivation for their now having been split. As far as the nomenclature used (nomenclature in this context means English Common Name) there is still a bit of overlap according to whoever is writing regional guides and how they want to call it. So, the only thing that one can do about this is follow one of the more authoritative taxonomic "lists", of which two are those usually followed: Clements; and the one that I use, the Howard & Moore, always keeping in mind that certainly for the next few years you will see people using Black-winged Kite, and Black-shouldered Kite for caeruleus.

N.B. Since you mention the Yellow-billed Kite. Even this bird is not treated unequivocally by all authorities. Most phylogeneticists still treat the bird as races (more than one race ranges in the afrotropical avifaunal region, off the top of my head two races, aegyptius, and parasitus) of the Black Kite (Milvus migrans). South African authorities, however, at the Percy Fitzpat Institute of Cape Town (where most of the phylogenetic investigations of southern african birds are done) tendentially split the african races from Milvus migrans sensu largo.

EDIT: By the way, lest you are not aware of this Dutch site. Here is a link to a female Polihierax. You may have to select and paste as I do not think this site allows hot links.


An expertly low angle shot which cleared the BG nicely for this finely exposed and focused image Annick, the strong eye contact really makes this a good composition. TFS it indeed my friend!

Hi Annick,
a nice and well exposed picture with lovely natural colours.
I really like the eyes, the look and the colours.
Good sharpness and the bird stand-out well from the blue sky.
Well done.

Hi Annick,
I read Steve Pryors critique after reading your note .... he certiainly knows his stuff.
You certainly know how to shoot it.
Another impeccable image of the Kite.
Great work as usual.

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2009-02-01 6:20]

Hi Annick,
This image is more beautiful than last one you posted.
More simple and clear with great look of the bird, which in India refered as 'Black-shouldered Kite' (Elanus caeruleus, ref: 'A Field Guide to the Birds of India' by Krys Kazmierczak). Ofcourse what ever name you call this magnificent bird of prey is very cute in this image. tfs.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2009-02-01 8:44]

Ha Annick,

Een mooi plaatje van deze roofvogel,steekt goed af ttegen de strakke blauwe hemel (welke ik hier ook wel weer eens wil bewonderen),niet altijd even gemakkelijk te identificeren deze vogels,in krugger hadden we hier ook wel problemen mee,groetjes


Hi Annick, an excellent capture of this magnificence kite with a lovely pose on the tip of the tree branch.
TFS and cheers,

Ciao Annick, beautiful diagonal composition with wonderful bird, great colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-02-01 11:11]

Hi Annick. This is a beautiful looking bird which you have taken so well. With a good pose from the bird looking round at you. Fine detail and natural colours. It stands out so well from the bright blue sky. Such large eeyes for the size of head. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-02-01 11:28]

Hi Annick,
Very beautiful capture.Clear eyes,POV,pose of bird,BG,details on plumage are perfect.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2009-02-01 20:01]

A super shot of the Kite Annick. I love the deep look he is giving to the area close to you.
I like his patterned feathers, the tips show up well.
Good capture

Hallo Annick,

Ja de goede soort indetificeren valt niet altijd mee.
Maar je hebt hem er goed opstaan op het topje van een boom.


  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2009-02-01 22:04]

Hi Annick!

You present us a magnificent picture of the Black-winged Kite. The bird is perfectly sharp and this reveals superb details. I also like the clarity of the picture. Your interesting notes show that the identification isnot always easy.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-02-02 0:14]

Hello Annick,
Great shot, very good POV and pose. Sharpness,details and colors are excellent.
Very well done.TFS.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-02-02 4:55]

Hello Annick, Fantastic shot and a clear shot against the lovely sky on the BG. Sharp focus and lovely color tones. TFS Ganesh

  • Great 
  • GaryT Gold Star Critiquer [C: 102 W: 7 N: 236] (160)
  • [2009-02-02 15:58]

I think I like this best of the two. Sullen look on the kite's face is something else! Great exposure and sharpness. Gary

Hello Annick

This raptor cuts an imposing figure against the beautiful blue sky.
Excellent sharpness and detail,the plumage detail is wonderful.
Lovely eye contact.
I really like the simple perch.
Great capture.


hello annick!
great pic with good sharpness
and fine composition,like the
blue background!
a very fine bird!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-02-05 9:49]

Hello Annick,
A very fine capture of a juvenile Elanus caeruleus, the brownish wings showing that it is a young bird. The composition, POV and technical aspects are spot on.
TFS and best regards,

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