Black Kite

Milvus migrans affinis

Order

ACCIPITRIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

MILMIG

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Black Kite has a large breeding range that exceeds 65 million square kilometers. This common raptor is native to most of the countries in Europe, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Australia. It scavenges for carrion and catches small animals in a variety of coastal habitats including urban and coastal areas. Although the size of the population is unknown, it is believed to consist of anywhere from 1,000,000 to 6,000,000 mature individuals. At the current time this bird species is not expected to face serious declines during the next few years, and has therefore been given a rating of Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Black Kite: Medium to large, long-winged raptor with gray-brown upperparts, and faint streaks on gray-brown underparts. Head is paler than body, dark mark around eye. Long wings have large pale patch on base of primaries. Long, slightly forked, faintly barred tail. Sexes similar. Juvenile like adult but paler, more streaks.


Range and Habitat

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Black Kite SONGS AND CALLS

Black Kite F1

Call is a whistle followed by a rapid whinny.

Black Kite JJ1

Advertising call is a falling "kleeeeee".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kleeeeerrrrrrr", "pee-pee-pee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Black Kites are fairly noisy, even outside of the breeding season.
  • Distributed over four continents, this species is likely the world's most abundant bird of prey and includes up to 12 subspecies, none of which are actually black, despite the common name.
  • This species has been recorded to hybridize with other kite species, both in captivity and in the wild.
  • A group of kites is collectively known as a "brood", an "eyrie", a "kettle", a "nest", a "roost", a "soar", a "stooping" and a "string" of kites.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X