Black kite

Milvus migrans

The Black Kite is a dark brown medium sized hawk with a wing span of 120-139 cm. Body length is 47-55 cm and weight is approximately 554 gram for a male and 626gram for a female. It has a noticeable forked tail while in flight.

Often found in flocks of hundreds to even thousands, they are principally scavengers and will take advantage of human activity by hunting near rubbish tips, camping grounds, fire fronts etc. Range covers mostly northern and inland Australia, also found in Indonesia and New Guinea. Expanding their range eastwards in NSW


Head – dark brown with pale forehead and throat. Eye – brown or hazel. Cere – yellow. Chest and belly – pale. Wings upper – pale band with black flight feathers. Wings under – barred, pale inner primaries, black outer primaries. Tail – dark under tail barred, forked tail noticeable while in flight. Feet – yellow


Paler, streaked paler on head, body and wings. , Cere yellow to greenish yellow, eyes brown, feet pale yellow

Status: Common to abundant