Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis major) 28 January 2011, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize
The thin strongly curved bill of this species is famously adapted to feeding on Apple Snails (Pomacea sp.). This is an immature; similar to the adult female but having yellow rather than red legs, brown rather than red eyes and a scaly appearance to its back. Formerly the genus Rostrhamus included the Slender-billed Kite, but the latter was moved to Helicolestes in 2006 leaving both species in monotypic genera (SACC Proposal 201). Three or four subspecies are recognized. This is the Middle American race R. s. major which averages larger than other races.
Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Nikon FieldScope III | 30XWA | hand-held (no adapter)