Black Kite Milvus migrans

A familiar and common species in much of Europe but a very rare visitor to the UK, mainly in spring. Although recorded annually in Norfolk most records involve birds moving straight through and it is consequently a difficult bird to connect with here.

Although identification is not difficult given good views, British claims of this species have an extremely high rejection rate, that is a high proportion of reports are deemed unproven. Usually the confusion is not with its closest congener, the Red Kite (although dark Red Kites can create confusion with well-marked Black Kites), but Marsh Harriers, especially ones with moulting tail feathers which may give the impression of having a forked tail.

Some authorities now treat the Asian form, Black-eared Kite, as a separate species. Some very poor quality images of this form appear on their own page. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for images of the African form, Yellow-billed Kite.

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image  

Black Kites, near Quinto (Aragón, Spain), 17th May 2013

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Black Kite, near El Planerón, Belchite Steppes (Aragón, Spain), 17th May 2013

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Black Kite, north of Lumbier (Navarre, Spain), 18th June 2009

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Black Kites, Elvas (Portugal), 24th April 2006

 

click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Black Kites, near Drift (Cornwall, UK), 2nd October 2011

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image
click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Black Kites (and Rooks), near Drift (Cornwall, UK), 3rd October 2011

 

click for larger image

Black Kite, east of Mourão (Spain), 21st April 2006

 

Black Kite, Viguerat (Bouche du Rhone, France), 6th May 1999

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Black Kite, Burnham Norton (Norfolk, UK), 24th April 2007

 

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image  

Black Kites, Elvas (Portugal), 23rd April 2006

 

Black Kite, Viguerat (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 6th May 1999

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Black Kite, Camargue (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 4th May 1999

 

Black Kite, Entressen Tip (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 26th May 2000

 

Black Kites from Europe winter in Africa but the birds that breed in Africa are often treated as a different species, Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius. Birds in Malawi (below) belong to the race parasites:

click for larger image click for larger image
click for larger image click for larger image

Yellow-billed Kite, Satemwa Tea Estate, Thyolo (Malawi), 29th September 2008

 

click for larger image click for larger image

Yellow-billed Kite, Nyika Plateau (Malawi), 5th October 2008