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. [1]
  4. The red kite in west Wales [2]
  5. McCarthy, Michael (13 January 2006). "Shakespeare's red kite returns to London after an absence of 150 years". The Independent on Sunday. [3]
  6. Delight as red kite chicks hatch. BBC News. [4]