Bird of the Month - October 2008
Grenada Hook-billed Kite female
This subspecies of the Hook-billed Kite is listed as Endangered (EN) by the IUCN Red Data List due to its limited range and small population. Its threatened status is most likely due to loss of habitat which impacts availability of food and nesting sites, and human persecution due to confusion with the Broad-winged Hawk in the past. Currently, the species is protected in Grenada. The Peregrine Fund studied this little-known subspecies from 2000-2006 and found it coexists with people and tolerates some habitat modification as long as prey species and large trees remain intact, especially in the southern end of the island around St. Georges.
Grenada Hook-billed Kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus mirus)

Other names: Grenada Kite, Hook-billed Kite, Mountain Hawk, Snail Kite, Red-collared Kite

Names in Creôle: Merlion, Gree-gree

The Grenada Hook-billed Kite is an endemic subspecies found only in Grenada. It is one of several resident raptors in Grenada, and is commonly confused with the similar-sized Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus).

Range and Habitat Needs

Grenada Hook-billed Kite Older Chick
Grenada Hook-billed Kite chick
Grenada Hook-billed Kite adult male
Grenada Hook-billed Kite in flight





Interesting Facts

Threats and Conservation Measures

Where to Find More Information?  

Blockstein, D. E.  1988. Two endangered birds of Grenada, West Indies: Grenada Dove and Grenada Hook-billed Kite. Caribb. J. Sci. 24: 127–136.

Blockstein, D. E.  1991. Population decline of the endangered endemic birds of Grenada, West Indies.  Bird Cons. Int. 1: 83–91.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliot, and J. Sargatal. 1994. Handbook of the birds of the world. Volume 2: New World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Ferguson-Lees, J. and D. A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the World. Christopher Helms, London, UK.

Global Raptor Information Network. 2008. Species account: Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus. Downloaded from on 27 Feb. 2008.

Johnson, J., R. Thorstrom, and D. Mindell.  2007. Systematics and Conservation of the Hook-billed Kite including the island taxa from Cuba and Grenada.  Animal Cons. 10: 1–11.

Lack, D. and A. Lack.  1973.  Birds of Grenada. Ibis 115: 53–59.

Smith, T. B. and S. A. Temple.  1982.  Grenada Hook-billed Kites: recent status and life history notes.  Condor 84: 131.

Thorstrom, R., E. Massiah, and C. Hall.  2001.  Nesting biology, distribution, and population estimate of the Grenada Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus mirus.  Caribb. J. Sci. 37: 278–281.

Thorstrom, R., and D. McQueen.  In press.  Breeding and status of the Grenada Hook-billed Kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus mirus).  Ornitologia Neotropical.

Wheeler, B. K., and W. S. Clark.  A photographic guide to North American Raptors.  Academic Press, London, U.K.

Grenada Hook-billed Kite Bird of the Month contributed by Russell Thorstrom

Photographs by Russell Thorstrom

Guidelines for writing up a Bird of the Month - please send in your contributions!

Bird of the Month - April 2008 - Trinidad Piping Guan or Pawi

Bird of the Month - December 2007 - Hispaniolan Parrot

Bird of the Month - September 2007 - Piping Plover

Bird of the Month - April 2007 - Montserrat Oriole

Bird of the Month - March 2007 - Grenada Dove

Bird of the Month - January 2007 - Bicknell's Thrush

Bird of the Month - December 2006 - Rose-throated Parrot

Bird of the Month - November 2006 - Purple-Throated Carib

Bird of the Month - October 2006 - Palmchat

Bird of the Month - September 2006 - Elfin-woods Warbler

Bird of the Month - August 2006 - Red-billed Streamertail

Bird of the Month - July 2006 - Cahow or Bermuda Petrel

Bird of the Month - June 2006 - West Indian Whistling-Duck