Black Kite

Milvus migrans affinis

Order

ACCIPITRIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

MILMIG

ITIS

Egg Color:

White with brown speckles.



Number of Eggs:

2 - 3



Incubation Days:

26



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

Nests can be found placed in a cliff or a tall tree.



Nest Material:

Sticks, twigs, plastic and strips of cloth.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Black Kite: Medium to large raptor with long wings, gray-brown upperparts and underparts, paler on head. Dark mark around eye, gray-black flight feathers, large pale patch on base of primaries. Indistinct streaks on underparts. Faint barring on tail. Bill has yellow base and cere, black tip. Long, slightly forked tail with faint dark tip and barring. Legs and feet are yellow. Forages by swooping down to the water or ground to catch fish and small animals, as well as carrion and garbage.

Breeding and Nesting

Black Kite: Two to three white eggs with brown speckles are laid in an unkempt platform nest made of sticks, twigs, and strips of cloth, and placed in a cliff or tall tree. Plastic and other materials with bright colors are also often used. Incubation ranges from 30 to 34 days and is carried out by both sexes.

Foraging and Feeding

Black Kite: Feeds on fish, rodents, and other small animals. Also visits garbage dumps, beaches, and sewage to feed on garbage and carrion. This adaptable raptor forages by swooping down to the ground to catch small animals, and also forages on the ground itself. Will also take bycatch in fishing nets and small animals that flee burning fields.

Vocalization

Black Kite: Produces several shrill, whistled calls and is quite noisy, even outside of breeding season. Main call is a squealing "kleeeerrrrrr."

Similar Species

Black Kite: Brahminy Kite has a white head, neck and breast. Osprey has all-white underparts.

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CereX
Also called the operculum, it is a smooth and featherless patch of skin located where the beak attaches to the forehead.
Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
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