Milvus is a genus of medium-sized birds of prey. It is an Old World group consisting of three kites which form part of the subfamily Milvinae. Its systematics are under revision; it contains 3 or 4 species.
Listen to the sound of Black Kite
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||135||cm||wingspan max.:||150||cm|
|size min.:||55||cm||size max.:||60||cm|
|incubation min.:||26||days||incubation max.:||38||days|
|fledging min.:||42||days||fledging max.:||38||days|
Commonly aquatic habitats, rivers, lakes, wetlands,seashores and nearby in meadows and along margins of wetlands. Often linked with man to greater or lesser degree.
Solitay or loosely colonial, nests in trees, building nest in fork or on branch or on wide side branch, also on cliff ledges, locally along coast. platform of sticks which often includes rags or plastic, paper, dung or skin.
2-3 eggs, incubation 26-38 days, normally by female almost exclusively, if male brings sufficient food, female may not hunt during entire breeding attempt.
Diet varies according to local availability, with proportionally more prey captured during breeding.
More unusually, vegetable matter, particularly oil palm fruits.
Catches prey on ground or water, large insects caught in air, and then eaten on wing. Often forages around margins of waterbodies, and by refuse dumps, slaughterouses or roads, where looks for animals knocked down by traffic.
Video Black Kite
This kite inhabits most of Africa and Eurasia, from the Iberian Peninsula to Japan. Northwards it occurs up to 65 degrees N. European populations are wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. About 21000-28000 breeding pairs occur in the European Union, which represents roughly 25% of the total European population. This species is subject to important fluctuations, but globally it undergoes a slow decrease since the beginning of the century. Being largely a scavenger, it is very susceptible to poisoning and pollution by pesticides. The disappearance of extensive pastoralism is another negative factor
European birds show major south-west movement in autumn, towards important Mediterranean crossing point at Straits of Gibraltar; some south, and others south-east towards Bosporus. Many pass around eastern end of Black Sea. Occurs in Israel both passages, and abundant at Eilat in south in spring. In north-east Africa, common both passages through Eritrea. In central Europe, juvenile dispersal begins late June to early July. Major exodus of all age groups in August though some remain into September or even later. First European breeding birds reach North Africa in July and northern tropics in August. Return movement begins February in Africa; initial arrivals Switzerland late February or early March, and Germany in second half March, but major arrivals central Europe in first half April with immigration continuing to early or mid-May.