The Hook-billed Kite is a snail-eating Kite, like its cousin, the Everglades Kite. The length of the kite is about 15-18 inches. The Hook-bill has 2 color phases. In the light phase (male) the top side is light to dark gray. The tail is dark, tipped and barred with white. The undersides are striped gray in all shades and thicknesses. The head is capped grey. The female light phase is mostly brown. The upper side is dark brown; the undersides are barred brown. The head is capped dark grey. The tail is dark, with 2-3 grey-brown bands and a white tip. Both sexes appear similar in the dark phase. In the dark phase all plumage is black, except for the tail which has 1 broad white band and a white tip. See Notes- Color Phases
The Hook-Billed Kite prefers tropical to warm temperate forests, wherever tree snails may be found. Nests are built 21-22 feet in the air in a deciduous tree. 2-3 eggs are laid. They are dull white spotted and blotched irregularly with brown. Incubation periods and dependancy periods are unknown.
The Hook-bill lives in from extreme southern Texas, from central Mexico to Panama and in eastern Cuba.
The primary food of this kite is tree snails; nothing else has been reported to be in the diet. The Cuban and Grenada subspecies of the Hook-billed Kite are listed as "endangered" under the United States Endangered Species Act.