Image 46 of 11548
Black Kite Milvus migrans. Wingspan 145-155cm. A medium-sized raptor that is most easily confused with a Red Kite or Marsh Harrier. All birds have mainly brown plumage that is palest on the head. In flight, note the forked tail, although this can appear straight-ended when broadly fanned. Note also the pale panel on the outer flight feathers of the otherwise rather dark wings. At very close range, the yellow base to the bill and the yellow legs can sometimes be discerned. The Black Kite breeds in mainland Europe and winters in Africa. Vagrants to our region usually turn up in spring and autumn, and perhaps 10 or so might be recorded in a good year. However, most individuals seldom linger in one location for very long and so usually they are seen by just a handful of lucky observers.