Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus

Everglade Snail Kite
FWS Focus

Overview

The Everglade snail kite is a medium-sized hawk with a wingspan of about 45 inches, very similar to the marsh hawk but without wavering, tilting flight. The beak is slender and very hooked. The adult males are slate gray with black head and wing tips, a white patch at the base of a square tail, and red legs. The female has a buffy body, heavily streaked with dark lines, a white line above the eye, a white tail patch, yellow legs, and red eyes. The immatures resemble the females, only they are darker and their eyes are brown. The snail kite is uniquely adapted for a diet almost exclusively of freshwater apple snails (Pomacea paludosa). As of 1987, there were only five documented occurrences of Everglade snail kites preying on non-snail items. Exclusive utilization of the genus Pomacea is apparently because this is the only large Florida snail occurring near the surface. The kite extracts the snail from the shell by means of its greatly curved beak.

Scientific Name

Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus
Common Name
Everglade Snail Kite
FWS Category
Birds
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Geography

Launching the map view for this species to view geographical data available, including but not limited to:

  • Range information, including populations
  • Distribution information
  • Ability to filter facilities that include, manage, or interact with the species

Launch Interactive Map

Timeline

Explore the information available for this taxon's timeline. You can select an event on the timeline to view more information, or cycle through the content available in the carousel below.

9 Items