French: Milan des marais German: Schneckenweih Spanish: Caracolero común
Other common names:
Everglade Kite (plumbeus)
Corrientes, near Río de la Plata, Argentina
Subspecies and Distribution
R. s. plumbeus
Ridgway, 1874 – Florida Everglades (SE USA), Cuba and I of Pines.
R. s. major
Nelson & Goldman, 1933 – E Mexico (C Veracruz to Yucatán Peninsula), N Guatemala (Petén), Belize and NW Honduras.
R. s. sociabilis
(Vieillot, 1817) – locally in Central America from S Nicaragua through Costa Rica and Panama to South America, occurring in Colombia and Ecuador and, E of Andes, throughout Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil to EC Argentina and Uruguay.
39–48 cm; male 304–430 g, female 362–480 g; wingspan 99–115 cm. Very slender, strongly curved bill; both sexes differ from Helicolestes hamatus... read more
Mainly vocalizes when breeding; female gives a sheep-like "weh-heh-heh..." to initiate... read more
Lowlands of subtropics to tropics; needs marshes continuously flooded for at least 2 years to... read more
Food and feeding
Highly specialized morphologically to feed on apple snails (Pomacea), but will take other, smaller snails (e.g. Marisa)... read more
Duration variable, 5–10 months. Nests Feb–Jul in USA; rainy season in tropics, e.g. Jan–Sept in Surinam; Aug–Mar in... read more
Southernmost populations migratory, although transition between migratory and resident populations... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Often abundant in suitable habitat throughout most of range. Boom or bust cycles closely tied to droughts in Florida, where... read more
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