You can find the Everglade Kite in several different tropical places. The Caribbean, South America, and Florida are generally where this bird is found. The bird gets its name because it is frequently found in Everglades National Park where the Apple Snail, of which it almost exclusively feeds on, thrives.
The Everglade Kite has a very particular diet that consists of almost only Apple Snails. Their curved beaks are built to pull out them out of their shells very easily. Today, this species of bird is listed as endangered. Urban development has made the habitat shrink which has contributed to the endangerment. More so, the water quality in the wetlands that they hunt in has declined dramatically, causing the Apple Snail population to do so as well. So Urban development and decreasing water quality is what has caused the endangerment.
The Everglades Snail Kite - Behind the Scenes
This bird has little economic importance except for the fact that it draws a lot of tourism for bird watching and photography. Ecologically, they don't really do anything special except for eat these snails, so apart from keeping the snail population under control they don't really do much to help the environment. So, although they are cool looking birds they don't serve much importance to humans or their ecosystems.