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Bird Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

J.K.M

John McDouall Stuart
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Scientific name: Milvus migrans

Common Name: Black Kite

Order: Falconiformes

Family: Accipitridae

Other Names: Fork-tailed Kite

Distribution: Distributed throughout mainland Australia, but more common in the North and East.

Habitat: Can be found in almost any habitat, from forest to open farmland.

Field Notes: dark brown, scattered light brown markings on the head, neck and underparts, darker brown and forked tail, dark brown eye, black bill. Both male and females have similar plumage.

Werribee Treatment Plant, Victoria - July 2010.

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View attachment 2732
 

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Here are some more photos of the Black Kite taken in the same area as auscrafts posting. This kite was about 20 km west of auscraft's sighting. This was a real treat for us because black kites are uncommon visitors to South East Queensland. They mainly reside in the north and west.

Flight pattern profile - wings slighlty bowed or slightly upswept, flat.


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Photo 1 - Flight pattern profile wings slightly curved. Photo 2 - Underwing of wings slightly upswept or flat with the famous twisting of tail. Photo 3 - Top view of flat profile.

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When the kite is gliding - wrists are pushed to level of beak which can make the wingtips look pointed. Tail is closed, narrow and forked. Looking for food, preys on small animals, scavenges offal and road kill.
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Other photos of this magnificent bird in flight.

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When in flight the black kite displays effortless beats interspersed with glides, extremly agile and may weave side to side.

Location: Kilkivan area, QLD. December, 2011.

Reference:
Queenland Museum (2007). Raptors of South East Queensland
 
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Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Yes, very common in N.Qld.
Sometimes in the hundreds at refuse tips.
Never seen one in the S. Burnett.
 

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Yes, very common in N.Qld.
Sometimes in the hundreds at refuse tips.
Never seen one in the S. Burnett.

Unreal isn't it. I read about that in the Raptor wild guide. How far north did you see this Hairy?
 

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Ive seen them in numbers at Bowen and Townsville.
Refuse tips have been cleaned up a lot in the last decade or so
with the use of the much less bird friendly transfer stations.
Black Kites give the crows a run for their money on road kills
up north too. A bit like vultures.
 

Eugenio Coscarelli

Les Stroud
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Further to field notes ... slow floating guide, occasionally lazy wing flaps; widely fingered wingtips, forked tail. Leisurely gliding and soaring with tail often fanned and twisted to gain lift in the breezes and updrafts. Wings are usually held slightly bowed, highest at the carpals, outer wings slightly drooped. Often glides just above or between treetops; skillfully maintains a glide in still airs with only an occasional flapp of the wings. (page 80 Field Guide to Australian Birds - M Morcombe)
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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View attachment 12432View attachment 12433
A few months ago I found a site that had 30+ black kites at it, Yesterday we went back to find the numbers had increased dramatically both these pics were taken within seconds show some of the numbers that were present, in that tree alone 34 + I counted 17 others perched elsewhere then the ones flying and ones I did not see till later.
 
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