Kite birds make their home in the huge fresh water lake in the Panama Canal called “Lake Gatun”. I believe that these two birds shown, are likely Snail Kites. This lake is fed by the Chagras River. The lake is a man-make body of water created to allow ships to transit the locks of the Panama Canal. There are several small islands in this lake
that have tropical rain forests on them. The Kites love to hunt for the large tropical snails on leafy plants in the lush rain forest.
The male is the charcoal black bird, while the hen is brown and rust-colored. Some of the Kites are year around residents while some are Winter visitors or are simply stopping for a bit on their way to South America. I took these pictures in the Panama Canal on October 30, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!