Snail Kite

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Snail Kite standing on a branch at Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica.

Unique snail-eating raptor. Widespread and fairly common in Central and South America, but minimal range in the U.S. Found exclusively around lakes and marshes with plenty of vegetation. The adult male is entirely dark grey with red eyes, orange feet, and the bill’s base, briefly turning red in the breeding season. Females and immatures are streaky browns. Note very sharply hooked bill, long broad wings, and short dark tail with a white base above and below. Look for pairs or small groups flying over marshes with slow, buoyant wingbeats. Frequently perches on bushes.

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