2 Recognized; U.S. species is nominate
Southeast U.S. through Central America to northeast Argentina
Over forests in tropical and subtropical regions, often preferring marshy areas.
Hunts by drifting gracefully just above treetops, or low over ground, with outstretched wings and tail in a constant balancing motion. Prey is mostly insects; also some birds and fruit snatched while in flight. Will also drop down on lizards and snakes.
Mid-March in Florida; January – June farther south. Colonial nesters. Twig nest, lined with moss, built on smaller branches at top of trees to prevent mammal predation (although larger raptors and strong winds can easily destroy these precariously placed nests). Clutch size is 1-2 eggs.
Migratory. Fall migration late July – early August; spring migration February – early March.
Not globally threatened. Fairly common over entire range.