Black Kite

Images ©:
Bob Winters | Bob Winters | The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industry/McCann

Milvus migrans


Medium-sized raptor, up to 55 cm. Plumage dark brown, with scattered light brown and rufous (red) markings, particularly on the head, neck and underparts. Eye is dark brown. Bill is black. Yellow cere (area of skin around the nostrils). Both sexes are similar.


Details
Type
Bird
Group
Animals
Raptor
Other Common Names
Fork-tailed Kite
Biology

Breeding season: August to November, however can breed at any time. Clutch size is one to three. They nest in isolated pairs or in small, scattered colonies. Nest is a bulky cup of sticks, lined with softer material, which is placed in the fork of a tree branch usually close to the trunk. The female incubates the eggs while the male hunts for food.

Distinctive Markings

Tail is forked and barred with darker brown.

Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Falconiformes
Family
Accipitridae

As with other raptors, a ritualised aerial courtship display is performed by both sexes. This involves loud calling, grappling of feet (talons), and tumbling or cartwheeling.


Interesting Facts
Diet

Carnivore. Feeds on lizards, small mammals, carrion (dead animals) and insects, especially grasshoppers.

Habitat

Found in woodlands, open country and around towns, particularly near rubbish dumps and abattoirs.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Audio
Sounds
A descending whistle "psee-err" followed by a staccato "si-si-si-si-si".