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Red Kite
File:Milvus milvus R(ThKraft).png
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Clade: Afroaves
Superorder: Accipitrimorphae
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Buteoninae
Tribe: Milvini
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. The species is currently endemic to the Western Palearctic region in Europe and northwest Africa, though formerly also occurred just outside in northern Iran.[2] It is a rare species which is resident in the milder parts of its range in western Europe and northwest Africa, but birds from northeastern and central Europe winter further south and west, reaching south to Turkey. Vagrants have reached north to Finland and south to Israel and Libya.[2]

Other names[]


A slender bird with a deeply forked tail, it has a graceful look in the air.[3] It is large and red-brown in appearance; when flying, it looks angular.[4] When seen below, the black tips and inner white feathers highlight the length of its wings.[4] This species also has a distinctly forked tail, which is pale rust-red in colour.[4]

Females are larger than males; otherwise, the sexes look the same.

Similar species[]

Black Kite is slightly smaller and less angular than the Red Kite and also has a less deeply forked tail.[4]


It flies with slow, deep wingbeats, gliding for long periods.[3] It flies fast and twisting dives, with flexibility and elasticity in its movements.[4]

It is a partial migrant.[3]




Nest is a large, shallow structure, made of twigs, earth and wool, and placed in a tree.[3]


Much of Europe, NW Africa, and the Middle East.[3]


  1. ^ Anon (2009). "Red Kite - BirdLife Species Factsheet". 2009 IUCN Red List Category. BirdLife International. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  2. ^ a b Snow, D. W. & Perrins, C. M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic Concise Edition. OUP ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
  3. ^ a b c d e Harrison, Colin and Greensmith, Alan (1993). Birds of the World. Dorling Kindersley Inc. ISBN 1564582965. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Frances, Peter; et al. (2007). Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide. Dorling Kindersley Inc. ISBN 1564582957. 

External links[]