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Order Birds of prey/Accipiterformes, Family Hawks/Accipitridae

Red Kite/Milvus milvus - Adult

L 61-72 cm, WS 140-165 cm. Breeds in forests near lakes, interspersed with open fields. Mainly migratory in northern part of range. In Britain, smaller population (130-150 pairs) resident in Wales; reintroduced at several sites in England and Scotland. Food fish, offal, refuse, insects. Often steals food from other birds. Nests in tall tree.
IDENTIFICATION: Medium-large, long-winged, with characteristic long, deeply forked tail. Wings rather narrow and evenly broad, held somewhat arched and flexed at the carpals, long ‘hand’ lowered. In profile, looks stooped, with tail and head hanging down. Flight buoyant and leisurely, almost crow-like, with constant twisting of tail. White ‘windows’ below on inner ‘hand’ typical. Tail rufous above, paler below. Pale yellowish-brown panel diagonally across dark inner wing, paler and more prominent than on Black Kite, and visible in head-on profile as pale wing-bend. Head pale. - Adult: No light tips to greater upperwing-coverts. Breast and belly deep rufous, narrowly streaked black. Undertail-coverts darkish. - Juvenile: Narrow white tips to upper greater coverts. Breast and belly rufous with yellowish-buff central streaks, giving a paler appearance than dark underwing. Undertail-coverts pale.
VOICE: Rather silent. Thin, piping, Common Buzzard-like mewing followed by drawn-out notes rising and falling, ‘weee-ooh, ee oo ee oo ee oo’. Also ‘wee-oh’ repeated.

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