Do you think they are related to owls? There is a chance that owls might be the forefathers of these kites

Elanus is a genus of birds of prey commonly known as the black-shouldered kites. These raptors are known for their distinctive appearance, including a predominantly whitish-grey plumage with striking black markings on their wings and shoulders that are an easy identifier among the four recognized species within this genus. These markings are crucial for birdwatchers and ornithologists to distinguish one species from another since their overall body structure is quite similar.

The birds in the Elanus genus are small to medium-sized kites with graceful and buoyant flight, often hovering in the air like a kestrel when hunting for prey. Their hunting technique is a testament to their keen vision and agility, allowing them to spot and swoop down on rodents, insects, and small birds with remarkable precision.

The resemblance of Elanus species to owls is not just in their appearance but also in certain behavioral aspects. Like owls, some species of Elanus have been observed to be capable of breeding more than once a year, a relatively rare trait among diurnal raptors. They are not strictly bound to seasonal reproduction, which suggests a flexible breeding strategy that allows them to take advantage of favorable conditions throughout the year.

Their nesting habits are also somewhat owl-like; they prefer to repeatedly use the same nest site over the years if it remains undisturbed and successful in raising chicks. These nests are often located at the top of trees or on artificial structures, providing a safe platform for raising their young.

Despite their somewhat endearing appearance, with soft feathers and a seemingly gentle demeanor, Elanus kites can exhibit a fierce and formidable presence, especially when hunting or defending their territory while perching quietly atop a branch. When they open their beaks, their sharp calls and the sight of their predatory beaks remind us of their true nature as skilled hunters.