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Bird Species of the World's Boreal Forests

MAMMALS

   
Botaurus lentiginosus
Red Kite

Description

Distinguishing Features - Kites are a large family of both large and small hawks, widely distributed around the world. Their beaks are sharply hooked but do not have sharp,, toothlike projections as falcons. Both sexes are usually similarly coloured and the female is larger than the male.

Red Kite The Red Kite is a medium-sized hawk, unmistakeable in flight. Their cruciform silhouette and long, deeply forked tail are unique. Overall colouration: varied brown tones; head and neck: greyish; bill: yellow.

Habitat

The range of the Red Kite includes Europe, southern parts of Scaninavia and southwestern Russia.

Diet

The kite family take a wider range of foods than most other families of raptors; the Red Kite is no exception. It feeds on birds, small mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and invertebrates; carrion are eaten in varying proportions, depending on local availability.

Notes

The flight is buoyant and effortless, with tail and wings acting independently to catch every shift in wind. It also soars frerquently, usually alone but occasionally in small groups.

The Red Kite is one of the relatively small number of birds of prey on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red list of endangered species. The list covers all flora and fauna and classifies entries as Endangered, Threatened, Vulnerable, Rare or Insufficiently Known. The Red Kite falls into the last category. In 1984 the world population was estimated to be not much more than 15,000 pairs.




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