White-collared kite

Brazilian beauty – victim of deforestation reported as an endangered species

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This raptor is cloaked not only in distinctive plumage but also in mystery due to its rarity and the scientific community’s limited understanding of its ecology. This bird’s identity has often been confused with its close relative, the Grey-headed Kite, but the White-collared Kite can be differentiated by the striking white collar around its neck, a feature that grants it its common name.

Inhabiting the dwindling Atlantic coastal forests, this kite is a victim of extensive habitat loss caused by deforestation. The Atlantic Forest, once a vast tropical rainforest stretching along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, has been reduced significantly in size, which has had a devastating impact on the biodiversity within it, including the White-collared Kite. The kite’s preference for this particular habitat has left it vulnerable, with its survival intrinsically linked to conserving these forest remnants.

The behavior and ecology of the White-collared Kite remain shrouded in mystery. It is known to be a sedentary species, meaning it does not migrate and tends to stay within a certain home range. These kites are shy, elusive, and strongly arboreal, spending much of their time in the treetops. The lack of comprehensive studies and observations has left gaps in knowledge regarding their breeding patterns, diet, and social structure.

Biologists who strive to study the White-collared Kite face considerable challenges. The bird’s rarity and the inaccessibility of its habitat make it difficult to observe and monitor. Furthermore, the small number of individuals that remain makes every encounter with this bird a precious opportunity for research and conservation.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Brazil
250-999
Official estimate
EN
2018

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No