ELANA: white-tailed kite
Elana, a white-tailed kite, was brought to us as a young bird in 2014 by a Good Samaritan after she had fallen out of her nest. She was uninjured, but she had been imprinted on humans and so could not be released.
For some months, Elana shared an enclosure with an adult kite in order to keep her calm. Now, at age three, she shares space with another young kite imprint, brought to us last year. Elana was trained as an "Education Ambassador," and comes out on the glove at in-house events, but since she has developed a mild heart murmur, she does not travel to schools and libraries. Kites are very nervous birds and stress easily. They often do not do well in captivity. We are fortunate to have two fairly calm kites!
As a juvenile, Elana still had reddish-brown feathers on her body and amber-colored eyes. In the next year or so, she began developing her elegant black, gray, and white adult feathering. Pretty soon her eyes will be turning the brilliant red that is signature of adult white-tailed kites.
Her name derives for the scientific name of white-tailed kites, Elanus leucurus.