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Breeding and diet of White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus) in the Texas panhandle

January 20, 2020

White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus) are grassland raptors that typically breed along coastal regions, particularly in California, southeastern Texas, and southern Florida. This species is irregular in the Texas panhandle, with few confirmed breeding and sighting records. We describe the first breeding record in Lubbock County, Texas, in which a pair of adults successfully raised 2 young in 2017 and may have returned and nested in 2018. Evaluation of cast pellets suggested dietary composition primarily consisted of diurnal rodents. Additionally, we compiled published and unpublished sighting and breeding records for the region and discovered reports for 2 nearby counties (Crosby and Kent counties, Texas) where White-tailed Kites have nested over multiple years, as well as several more counties with sighting records. Our data indicate that the southern extent of the Texas panhandle is now part of the species' breeding or “rare” range.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Breeding and diet of White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus) in the Texas panhandle
DOI 10.1676/1559-4491-131.4.844
Authors Katheryn Watson, Daniel U. Greene, Clint W. Boal
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Index ID 70228035
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta

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