As if knowing its human name of blackshouldered kite, this bird performs a seemingly military salute of eyes to the right and wing up. Could it be concealing the black shoulder deliberately from the camera view as a game? The pose did not last long but this is the nicer picture.
Lots of white feathers, the yellow feet and dark eyes are on show as well. The forward-facing eyes make the bird appear owl-like. Are those that call Elanus caeruleus the blouvalk (blue falcon) confusing the colour issue? Maybe not quite, as the specific name of caeruleus also means blue, dusky, green or the sea.
This bird knows the sea all around the southern African coast but also all the inland parts. Living everywhere in southern Africa, the blackshouldered kite is adapted to all local habitats, eating the rodents, reptiles, insects and small birds on offer there. Solitary or in pairs by day, non-breeding birds may gather near sunset for roosting in flocks of more than 100, usually in tall trees as may be available.
Breeding may happen throughout the year but mainly in winter and spring, although this is variable by region. A stick nest lined with grass, built in a tree by both parents, is filled with a clutch of three to four buff or cream eggs. The female does most of the hatching that takes about 31 days. She also feeds them especially during the early period, the parents taking care of their young for nearly three months (Maclean, 1993; Wikipedia).