Tuesday, February 7, 2012

>>Genus Gampsonyx (Pearl Kite)

Pearl Kite

(Redirected from Gampsonyx)
Pearl Kite
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Vigors, 1825
Species:G. swainsonii
Binomial name
Gampsonyx swainsonii
Vigors, 1825
The Pearl Kite (Gampsonyx swainsonii) is a very small raptor found in open savanna habitat adjacent to deciduous woodland. It is the only member of the genus Gampsonyx. The scientific name commemorates the English naturalist William Swainson.

This tiny kite breeds from Panama, Colombia and Venezuela south to Bolivia and northernArgentina, with an isolated sedentary population in Nicaragua. It is expanding its range and was proved to breed on Trinidad in 1970. First reported in Costa Rica in the mid-1990s, now fairly common along Pacific slope, to 1000m (1).Distribution and habitat


The Pearl Kite is 20.3–23 cm (8–9 in) in length and weighs 80-95 g (2.8-3.3 oz). It is the smallest raptor in the Americas and one of the two smallest accipitrids in the world. The adult has a black crown, upperparts, wing and tail, a rufous edged white collar, yellow forehead and cheeks, mainly white underparts, and yellow legs. Immature birds are similar to the adults but have white and chestnut tips to the back and wing feathers, a buff collar and some buff on the white underparts. In flight this species looks mainly black above and white below. The northern form G. s. leonae differs from the nominate G. s. swainsonii in that it has rufous flanks.



The nest is a deep cup of sticks built high in a tree. The clutch is 2-4 brown-marked white eggs, incubated mainly by the female for 34–35 days to hatching, with a further 5 weeks to fledging. There may be two broods in a season.


The Pearl Kite feeds mainly on lizards, especially Anolis, but also takes small birds and insects; it usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey. The call is a high musical pip-pip-pip-pip or kitty-kitty-kitty.

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