Members of the genus Leptodon are rather large Kites. The tail is long and rounded; the wings long and blunt. The bill has a single ‘tooth’. The genus has short, but stout legs. The lores are sparsely covered with bristles; the feathers of the nape are slightly lengthened and pointed. Immatures are very different from the adults in colour, the immature being highly variable in colour and with phases – the adult is not. Related to the genus Aviceda, there is but one species, in the tropics of the New World.
Listen to the sound of White-collared Kite
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
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There has been massive deforestation in coastal Alagoas and Pernambuco, with most suitable habitat cleared or threatened. The two key sites in Alagoas are both under severe threat, with forest at Murici covering 70 km2 in the 1970s, but less than 30 km2 in 1999. Indiscriminate small-scale logging was still occurring at the site in 1992, and the area is further threatened by fires spreading from adjacent sugarcane plantations. Some forest persists at Sao Miguel dos Campos but it is still under pressure from logging and hunting. The current condition of forest at agua Azul is unknown. The behavior of this species is very poorly known, although it likely is similar to that of the Gray-headed. It resides in Atlantic coastal forest, which is heavily threatened by habitat destruction. This species is extremely poorly known – even its status as a species was in doubt until recently – and is of significant conservation concern, although population data are still limited. Recent survey work in Alagoas and Pernambuco states recorded 21 pairs and estimated a total population of c.50 pairs or 100 mature individuals. The species is suspected to be declining in line with indiscriminate forest clearance within its small range.