Black kite

BIRD INFO

Black kite

Scientific Name:  Milvus migrans

Black kite image

Black kite  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Birds of Prey    372  Views




IDENTITY:

Black kites can be distinguished from red kites by the slightly smaller size, less forked tail (visible in flight), and generally dark plumage without any rufous. The sexes are alike. The upper plumage is brown but the head and neck tend to be paler. The patch behind the eye appears darker. The outer flight feathers are black and the feathers have dark cross bars and are mottled at the base. The lower parts of the body are pale brown, becoming lighter towards the chin. The body feathers have dark shafts giving it a streaked appearance. The cere and gape are yellow, but the bill is black (unlike in the yellow-billed kite). The legs are yellow and the claws are black. They have a distinctive shrill whistle followed by a rapid whinnying call. Males and females have the same plumage but females are longer than males. Their wingspan is around 150 cm

BASIC:

  • 58-66 cm

  • 23-26 Inch

  • black

  • brown  (Bird may have more colors)
LOCAL NAMES:
  •    চিলনী
  •    ভুবন চিল, বাদামি চিল, গোদা চিল, ডোম চিল
  •    Milan noir
  •    સમડી, ચીલ, કાશ્મીરી ચીલ, શિયાળુ સમડી, દેશી સમડી
  •    चील
  •    ಹದ್ದು, ಗಿಡುಗ
  •    ചക്കിപ്പരുന്ത്
  •    घार, घोण
  •    कालो चील
  •    ଚିଲ
  •    கள்ளப் பருந்து
HABIT AND HABITED:

Gregarious throughout the year. Mainly occurs around cities, towns and villages. also mountains.

FOOD:

Black kites are most often seen gliding and soaring on thermals as they search for food. The flight is buoyant and the bird glides with ease, changing directions easily. They will swoop down with their legs lowered to snatch small live prey, fish, household refuse and carrion, for which behaviour they are known in British military slang as the shite-hawk. They are opportunist hunters and have been known to take birds, bats, and rodents. They are attracted to smoke and fires, where they seek escaping prey. It has been claimed in native Australian beliefs, that kites spread fires by picking and dropping burning twigs so as to flush prey. The Indian populations are well adapted to living in cities and are found in densely populated areas. Large numbers may be seen soaring in thermals over cities. In some places, they will readily swoop and snatch food held by humans. Black kites in Spain prey on nestling waterfowl especially during summer to feed their young. Predation of nests of other pairs of black kites has also been noted. Kites have also been seen to tear and carry away the nests of baya weavers in an attempt to obtain eggs or chicks

VOICE:

has a shrill, almost musical whistle ewe-wir-r-r-r-r

INFO:

The Black Kite is a medium-sized bird of prey. Unlike others of the group, they are opportunistic hunters and are more likely to scavenge. They spend a lot of time soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food. Their angled wing and distinctive forked tail make them easy to identify. This kite is widely distributed through the temperate and tropical parts of Eurasia and parts of Australasia, with the temperate region populations tending to be migratory. Several subspecies are recognized and formerly with their own English names. The European populations are small, but the South Asian population is very large. The Black Kite can be distinguished from the Red Kite by its slightly smaller size, less forked tail, visible in flight and generally dark plumage without any rufous. The upper plumage is brown but the head and neck tend to be paler. The patch behind the eye appears darker. The outer flight feathers are black and the feathers have dark cross bars and are mottled at the base. The lower parts of the body are pale brown, becoming lighter towards the chin. The body feathers have dark shafts giving it a streaked appearance. The cere and gape are yellow but the bill is black (unlike in the Yellow-billed Kite). The legs are yellow and the claws are black. They have a distinctive shrill whistle followed by a rapid whinnying call.




DISTRIBUTION MAP:
image
    Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
    Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
    Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
    Winter visitor
    Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
    known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
    Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
    Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
 colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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