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Red Kite Milvus milvus W 145-165cm. Graceful raptor, identified in flight by deeply forked tail (twisted to aid flight control) and long, bowed wings. Seldom spends much time on ground but sometimes perches in trees. Sexes are similar. Adult has pale grey head but otherwise mainly reddish brown plumage. Eye, base of bill and legs are yellow. In flight from below, note reddish brown body and underwing coverts, silvery grey tail and patch on primaries, and otherwise dark wings. From above, tail appears red while reddish brown back and wing coverts contrast with dark flight feathers. Juvenile resembles dull adult with pale margins to wing covert feathers. Voice Utters shrill calls in flight, like somebody whistling for their dog. Status As recently as late 1980’s, confined to central Wales. Re-introduction programmes mean it is now very locally common in England and Scotland as well.
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155777
Red Kite Milvus milvus W 145-165cm. Graceful raptor, identified in flight by deeply forked tail (twisted to aid flight control) and long, bowed wings. Seldom spends much time on ground but sometimes perches in trees. Sexes are similar. Adult has pale grey head but otherwise mainly reddish brown plumage. Eye, base of bill and legs are yellow. In flight from below, note reddish brown body and underwing coverts, silvery grey tail and patch on primaries, and otherwise dark wings. From above, tail appears red while reddish brown back and wing coverts contrast with dark flight feathers. Juvenile resembles dull adult with pale margins to wing covert feathers. Voice Utters shrill calls in flight, like somebody whistling for their dog. Status As recently as late 1980’s, confined to central Wales. Re-introduction programmes mean it is now very locally common in England and Scotland as well.

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Date: 12 Mar 2014
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Credit: PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers Ltd
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