Red Kite

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Red Kite
Missing image
Redkite.JPG



Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Subphylum:Vertebrata
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Subfamily:Milvinae
Genus:Milvus
Species:M. milvus
Binomial name
Milvus milvus
Linnaeus, 1758

The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers.

It is a European species which is resident in the milder parts of its range, but birds from northern and central Europe winter further south and west.

In the Middle Ages, Red Kites were much more widespread, their scavenging habits making them the refuse collectors of the day, but their numbers have much decreased through illegal persecution and poisoning. They will take small live prey as well as carrion, and will rob other birds.

In the United Kingdom, the breeding population eventually became restricted to Wales, but recently the Welsh population has been supplemented by re-introductions in England and Scotland. The reintroductions in The Chilterns have been a particular success, with a now well-established strong population. The kites are a common sight above the houses of the Buckinghamshire village of Stokenchurch and its surrounding area.

The Red Kite is 61–72 cm long with a 140–165 cm wingspan. It is an elegant bird, soaring with long wings held at a dihedral, and long forked tail twisting as it changes direction.

The body, upper tail and wing coverts are rufous. The white primary flight feathers contrast with the black wing tips and dark secondaries. Sexes are similar, but juveniles have a buff breast and belly. The call is a thin piping, similar to but less mewling than Common Buzzard.

This species nests in trees, often close to other kites. In winter, many kites will roost together.

See also

de:Rotmilan eo:Ruĝa milvo lt:Rudasis peslys nl:Rode wouw ja:アカトビ pl:Kania ruda sv:Rd glada

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