What is the Difference Between Kite and Eagle

The main difference between kite and eagle is that kites are lighter in weight and smaller in size compared to eagles. In addition, kites have smaller beaks and smaller heads than eagles.

Eagles and kites, both being predatory birds, share some similarities. However, they are different from each other in terms of size, hunting style, the type of prey they prefer and the habitat in which they live in.

Key Areas Covered

1. Kite 
   – Appearance, Characteristics, and Behavior
2. Eagle
     – Appearance, Characteristics, and Behavior
3. Similarities Between Kite and Eagle
     – Outline of Common Characteristics
4. Difference Between Kite and Eagle
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Eagle, Kite, Birds of Prey

Difference Between Kite and Eagle - Comparison Summary

Kite – Appearance, Characteristics, and Behavior

Kite is a bird of prey.  It is medium in size and has a V-shaped tail. In detail, kite is a bird with a small head, a partially bare face, a short beak, long narrow wings, and a tail. Kites belong to the Accipitridae family of birds. Unlike eagles, they are lighter in weight and smaller in size. Kites can be considered one of the superabundant species of the Accipitridae family.

Kite vs Eagle

Kites are generally found worldwide in areas with a warm climate. Some species of kites are scavengers, but they also feed on reptiles, insects, and rodents. For instance, snail kites like to eat snails. Kites are usually buoyant when they are in flight. They slowly flap and then glide with their angled back. Different species of kites reside in different habitats. For instance, Brahminy Kites frequently live along rivers while Black Kites dwell in cities.

Eagle – Appearance, Characteristics, and Behavior

An eagle is also a predatory bird. In contrast to kites, eagles are larger in size with a stronger build, a heavier head, and a bigger beak. Generally, eagles are larger in build compared to the other predatory birds apart from vultures. Some of the eagle species weigh up to approximately 18 lbs. Eagles are not only predators but also scavengers. They are well known for their speed, quickness and great vision, which give them the ability to hunt larger animals.

Compare Kite and Eagle

An eagle’s eyesight is stronger than the eyesight of most birds of prey. Most significantly, it is believed to be 4-8 times stronger than human eyesight. This bird has the ability to naturally grow new feathers, claws, and its beak if they encounter any damage. Furthermore, eagles are mainly categorized into two different species like sea eagles and land eagles. Sea eagles dwell in coastal habitats, and they usually feed on marine animals such as fish.

Similarities Between Kite and Eagle

  1. Both eagles and kites are not only predatory birds but also scavengers.
  2. Kites and eagles are carnivorous birds; therefore, they usually have strong bills, bigger talons, and exceptional skills in flight

Difference Between Kite and Eagle


Eagle is a larger-sized bird of prey, whereas a kite is a medium-sized predatory bird.


Eagles are one of the largest birds of prey and have a heavier weight, whereas kites are smaller and lighter than eagles.


Generally, eagles have big heads, big beaks, long and broad wings and fan-shaped tails while kites have small heads, short beaks, long pointed wings, and V-shaped tails.


Eagles can be found in golden, brown and blackish-grey colors while kites are usually black, brown, and grey shades.


There are two main eagles as sea eagles and land eagles. However, there exist around 20-30 species of kites all around the world.


Eagles make very large nests that are usually six feet wide. Their nests are called eyries, and they are usually made on high cliffs or in tall trees. Kites, on the other hand, build their nests with sticks and twigs and line them with grass. These kite nests are usually found in tall trees, mainly near water sources.

Predatory Nature

Eagles are very skillful hunters with great eyesight. They can grab prey without landing and take flight with it. Kites, on the other hand, hunt reptiles, insects, snails and may snatch prey from other birds.


In brief, the main difference between kite and eagle is that eagle is a predatory bird with a comparatively larger build, whereas the kites are usually medium size predatory birds. Further, compared to kites, eagles are skilful hunters who have the ability to grab prey even without landing.    


1. “Birds of Prey.” Britannica.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Red-kite-bird-flying-sky-6129221” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) Ethiopia” By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Anuradha

Anuradha has a BA degree in English, French, and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Master's degree in Teaching English Literature in a Second Language Context. Her areas of interests include Arts and Literature, Language and Education, Nature and Animals, Cultures and Civilizations, Food, and Fashion.

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