Red kite

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Red kite
Red Kite, Spain.jpg
Red kite in Spain
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Milvinae
Genus: Milvus
Binomial name
Milvus milvus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Side view of adult, Wales

The red kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. This family also has other raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers.

The species is found all over Europe and northwest Africa.[2] It 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.[2]

Red kites eat small mammals and carrion. They were wiped out in most of Britain, except for a few in south Wales. Farmers killed them, and so did the DDT picked up from their prey. They have made a big come-back in England and Scotland after they were recently re-introduced.[3][4]

A sighting of the first red kite in London for 150 years was reported in The Independent newspaper in January 2006.[5] In June 2006, the UK-based Northern Kites Project reported that kites had bred in the Derwent Valley, Tyne and Wear for the first time since the re-introduction.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. BirdLife International (2013). "Milvus milvus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Snow D.W. & Perrins C.M. 1998. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854099-X
  3. Rod Liddle, BBC Radio 4. The kestrel and the red kite
  4. The red kite in west Wales
  5. McCarthy, Michael (13 January 2006). "Shakespeare's red kite returns to London after an absence of 150 years". The Independent on Sunday. [1]
  6. Delight as red kite chicks hatch. BBC News