Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2019 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 132,000,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
Population trend Stable suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.6 - - -

Population justification: This species is one of the commonest birds of prey throughout its wide range (Kemp et al. 2015). The European population is estimated at 1,100-2,600 pairs, which equates to 2,200-5,300 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The small European population is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan V Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes
Angola N Extant Yes
Austria V Extant Yes
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Belgium V Extant Yes
Benin N Extant Yes
Botswana N Extant Yes
Brunei V Extant Yes
Bulgaria V Extant Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant Yes
Burundi N Extant Yes
Cambodia N Extant Yes
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Central African Republic N Extant Yes
Chad N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Congo N Extant Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant Yes
Czechia V Extant Yes
Denmark V Extant Yes
Djibouti V Extant Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes
Equatorial Guinea N Extant Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Eswatini N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
France N Extant Yes
Gabon N Extant Yes
Gambia N Extant Yes
Germany V Extant Yes
Ghana N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant Yes
Greece V Extant Yes
Guinea N Extant Yes
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Hong Kong (China) V Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes
Indonesia N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Israel V Extant Yes
Italy V Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kuwait V Extant Yes
Laos N Extant Yes
Lebanon V Extant Yes
Lesotho N Extant Yes
Liberia N Extant Yes
Libya N Extant Yes
Madagascar V Extant Yes
Malawi N Extant Yes
Malaysia N Extant Yes
Mali N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
Namibia N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
Netherlands V Extant Yes
Niger N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
Oman V Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Papua New Guinea N Extant Yes
Philippines N Extant Yes
Poland V Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Qatar V Extant
Romania V Extant Yes
Rwanda N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Sierra Leone N Extant Yes
Singapore N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant
Switzerland V Extant Yes
Syria V Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant Yes
Timor-Leste N Extant Yes
Togo N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes
Turkey V Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
United Arab Emirates V Extant Yes
Uzbekistan V Extant Yes
Vietnam N Extant Yes
Yemen N Extant Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Portugal Évora plains
Portugal Mourão, Moura e Barrancos
Portugal Monforte plains
Portugal Vila Fernando
Portugal Tejo estuary
Portugal Castro Verde plains
Portugal Cabeção
Spain Olivenza-La Albuera
Spain Lácara-Morante
Spain Montánchez mountain range-Cornalvo reservoir
Spain Trujillo-Torrecillas de la Tiesa
Spain Campo Arañuelo-Valdecañas reservoir
Spain Monfragüe
Spain Borbollón reservoir
Spain Alcudia valley and mountain range
Spain Tierra de Campiñas steppes
Spain Tierra de Campos steppes
Spain Campo de Argañán
Spain Tietar valley
Spain Antequera mountain range-El Chorro
Spain Sierra Morena de Sevilla
Spain Pela mountain range-Orellana reservoir-Zorita
Spain Plain between Cáceres and Trujillo-Aldea del Cano
Yemen Al-Kadan area
Portugal Serra de Penha Garcia e Campina de Toulões
Portugal Upper River Tejo
Portugal Cabrela
Portugal Arraiolos
Portugal Albufeira do Caia
Portugal River Guadiana
Morocco Oued Tahadart
Portugal Torre da Bolsa
Morocco Canton Forestier de Sidi Bou Ghaba
Morocco Sebkha Bou Areg
Morocco Embouchure Oued Moulouya

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest suitable resident
Desert Hot suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Elanus caeruleus. Downloaded from on 20/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/08/2022.