Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Red Kite (Milvus Milvus)


Red kite (Milvus milvus)

Sent by Ann, a postcrosser from Wales, United Kingdom.

This is from Wikipedia : The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers. The species is currently endemic to the Western Palearctic region in Europe and northwest Africa, though formerly also occurred just outside in northern Iran. It is a rare species which is resident in the milder parts of its range in western Europe and northwest Africa, but birds from northeastern and central Europe winter further south and west, reaching south to Turkey. Vagrants have reached north to Finland and south to Israel and Libya.

The Red Kite is 60–66 cm (24–26 in) long with a 175–179 cm (69–70 in) wingspan; males have a weight of 800–1,200 g (28–42 oz), and females 1,000–1,300 g (35–46 oz). It is an elegant bird, soaring with long wings held at a dihedral, and long forked tail twisting as it changes direction. The body, upper tail and wing coverts are rufous. The white primary flight feathers contrast with the black wing tips and dark secondaries. Apart from the weight difference, the sexes are similar, but juveniles have a buff breast and belly. The call is a thin piping, similar to but less mewling than the Common Buzzard. There is also a rare white leucistic form which accounts for approximately 1% of hatchlings in the Welsh population but is at a disadvantage in the survival stakes.


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