Here are some interesting facts about kites: Kites belong in the Accipitridae* family of birds of prey. They are divided into two subfamilies. Elaninae kites are sometimes considered to be "hovering kites" and are generally smaller in size. Milvinae kites may... Read more »
The Black Kite is a widespread species throughout the temperate and tropical parts of Eurasia and parts of Australasia.
From a distance it appears almost black, but its plumage is actually dark brown. Black Kites will take small live prey as well as fish, household refuse and carrion. They are well adapted to living in cities and are found even in densely populated areas. They are attracted to fires and smoke where they seek escaping insect prey.
The Black Kite can be distinguished from the Red Kite by its slightly smaller size, less forked tail and generally dark plumage without any rufous.
The Black Kite nests in forest trees, often close to other kites. In winter, many kites will roost together.
Details & Statistics
The Black Kite is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over 10 years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in 10 years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.