Saturday, 15 August 2009

Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

Adult Red Kite (subspecies M. m. milvus) at Geddington, Northants - November 2011

OTHER NAMES: Fork-tail,  Puttock, Baegez
Local Name (Spain): Milano re├íl ("Royal Kite")
Featured Subspecies: Milvus milvus milvus
Weight: 800-1300g
Length: 60-70cm
Wingspan: 175-179cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List Near Threatened

Now realistically for me, Red Kite's are no longer elusive, in fact I see them practically every day I walk from my house for any distance, yet I realise that nationally they are still still expanding their range, although it has got to the point where I have seen them in many counties. I'd still suggest around the Kettering/Corby area of Northamptonshire if you are really struggling to see them and don't want to go to Wales - the birds here are established and used to people and so great views are possible.  They do however still face threats - the bird in this photo had suffered a minor poisoning from eating something it shouldn't have and had to be taken into care.  I also saw this species in both trips to Spain, but as with buzzards, the sheer variety of large raptors (including it's locally more common cousin, the black kite) keeps them dominating in the same way they do in my area.

Related Species: 
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Milvinae
Genus: Milvus
Subspecies: M. m. milvus, M. m. fasciicausa*

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Breeding resident increasing following reintroduction (3000+ pairs)
 - Birds seen in a number of locations, but most regularly around Geddington.
SPAIN - Fairly common resident.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: A single bird at El Rocio
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Several on farmland North of Madrid 
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Several on farmland near Madrid 

* It is currently unclear as to whether this represents a subspecies of Red or Black Kite, or a hybrid of the two or a species in it's own right. 

Further Info: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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