Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

Latin Etymology: Milvus ("kite") migrans ("migrating")
  Black Kite (subspecies M. m. lineatus) at Kamakura, Japan - November 2014

Featured Subspecies: Black-eared Kite (Milvus migrans lineatus)
Weight: 560-940kg  /  Length: 48-58cm  /  Wingspan: 130-155cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List - Least Concern

Despite it's absence from the UK except as a vagrant, the Black Kite is a massively common bird of prey when viewed on the global level, potentially the most abundant (though not widespread) of all raptors in general.  It is much more of a scavenger than most other birds of prey, which is part of the reason for its comparative success in the modern world.  Black Kites can be found across Europe, Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Australia.  In Japan, where I encountered the species they could be spotted circling around the fringes of cities.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Milvus
Subspecies:  M. m. migrans, M. m. lineatus, M. m. govinda, M. m. affinis, M. m. formosanus

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Japaneseトビ  /  Tobi  ("Kite")  
Common resident.
 - KYOTO/OSAKA 2013 TRIP: Seen at throughout at random times in Kyoto and Osaka
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Abundant at Kamakura, several seen in Tokyo and a number seen at the Akan Crane Centre
SPAIN - Spanish - Milano negro - ("Black Kite")
Scarce and Local Resident
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Seen several times in Madrid and the surrounding farmlands
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Abundant at  Monfrague and seen in numerous places elsewhere.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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