Whistling Kite

Haliastur sphenurus

The Whistling Kite is a medium sized hawk of untidy appearance with a wing span of 123-146 cm. Body length is 51-59 cm, and weight approximately 632 gram for males and 907 gram for females. It is noticeable for its slow soaring flight and whistling cry. This kite feeds on small mammals, large insects and carrion.

 Found around waterways and generally avoids dense forests throughout Australia, though rarely in Tasmania.


Head – streaky sandy-brown. Eye – brown, cere – pale grey. Chest and Belly – streaky sandy-brown

Wings upper – dark with pale area from wrist to body. Wings under – distinctive pattern with a panel of pale secondary feathers next to dark primaries.

Tail – sandy. Feet – cream.


Underparts more streaked, upper wings are spotted. Cere dark grey, eyes brown, feet cream

Status: Not globally or nationally threatened