Order: Falconiformes (or Accipitriformes)
There is no information available regarding the feeding or breeding habits of the White-collared Kite. It is presumed to be a non-migratory bird, residing in Brazil throughout the year. Observations of a small number of individuals suggest they spend most of their time alone or in a pair. They typically soar not more than 100m above the forest and engage in territorial displays in the morning.
The White-collared Kite inhabits humid, tropical lowland evergreen forest at a maximum elevation of 600m above sea level. It is also found in coastal mangroves adjacent to forests.
This species is severely threatened by massive habitat loss. Huge swathes of the Atlantic forest in Brazil have been logged for timber and cleared for cultivation. Sugar-cane plantations have replaced virtually all the lower-altitude forest in Alagoas and Pernambuco states. The remaining forest in higher parts, although not under threat from such industrial activities, is affected by other pressures such as selective logging, firewood removal, small-scale cultivation (e.g. of bananas) and hunting. These activities are steadily destroying the remaining forest on the steep mountain slopes. Today, only one per cent of the original habitat within the species’ range remains. The largest forest fragment in Pernambuco is only 45km2, whilst that in Alagoas is just 30km2.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Leptodon forbesi. Downloaded from www.birdlife.org on 08/04/2013
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J. (1994). Hand Book of Birds of the World. Volume 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
Dénes, F. V., Silveira, L. F., Seipke, S., Thorstrom, R., Clark, W. S., and Thiollay, J. M. (2011). The White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi Swann, 1922) and a Review of the Taxonomy of the Grey-headed Kite (Leptodon cayanensis Latham, 1790). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 123(2), 323-331.
Teixeira, D. M., Nacinovic, J. B. and Pontual, F. B. (1987) Notes on some birds of northeastern Brazil (2). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 107:151-157.
Seipke, S. H. (2008). Searching for the elusive White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi) in northeastern Brazil. Neotropical Raptor Network Newsletter:13.
Seipke, S. H., Dénes, F. V., Pallinger, F., Thorstrom, R., Thiollay, J., Silveira, L. F. and Clark, W. S. (2011) Field identification of White-collared Kite Leptodon forbesi and similar- looking species in north-east Brazil. Neotropical Birding 8:29-39.
Silveira, L. F., Olmos, F. and Long, A. J. (2003) Birds in Atlantic Forest fragments in north-east Brazil. Cotinga 20:32–46
Swann, H. K. (1922). A synopsis of the Accipitres. London: Wheldon and Wesley.
Text compiled by Michelle Harrison. Factchecked by Francisco Denes.