Kites are raptors with long wings and weak legs which spend a great deal of time soaring. In general they feed on carrion but may also take live prey.
They are birds of prey which along with hawks, eagles, Old World vultures and many others are in the family Accipitridae.
Together with less closely related groups such as New World vultures and Osprey, they make up the diurnal bird of prey order Falconiformes.
- Subfamily Elaninae
- Subfamily Milvinae
- Double-toothed Kite, Harpagus bidentatus
- Rufous-thighed Kite, Harpagus diodon
- Mississippi Kite, Ictinia mississippiensis
- Plumbeous Kite, Ictinia plumbea
- Snail Kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis
- Slender-billed Kite, Helicolestes hamatus - formerly in Rostrhamus
- Whistling Kite, Haliastur sphenurus
- Brahminy Kite, Haliastur indus
- Red Kite, Milvus milvus
- Cape Verde Kite, Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda - extinct (2000)
- Black Kite, Milvus migrans
- Black-eared Kite, Milvus (migrans) lineatus
- Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus (migrans) aegyptius
- Square-tailed Kite, Lophoictinia isura
- Black-breasted Buzzard, Hamirostra melanosternon
A few of the Perninae are also called kites.
Alexander Hunter and various others have also been refered to as 'detested kite'. A quote from King Lear. Mainly used by such people who prefer to go un-named.