Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

Black Kite in Dharamsala

Black Kite in Dharamsala

The Black Kite (Milvus migrans) is a medium-sized bird of prey occurring through much of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. With especially large populations in South Asia, some believe it is the most abundant bird of prey on the planet. Characteristic is their rather uniform, brown plumage and a forked tail which can easily be seen since the animals often spend much time soaring and gliding in thermals. The birds are mostly scavengers looking out for roadkill or household refuse, but they are also opportunistic hunters feeding on other birds, bats, and rodents. Black Kites are migratory in temperate regions, but the tropical populations are resident. The birds often form groups and especially in Indian cities large numbers can be seen in the sky throughout the day. I have photographed these graceful raptors in northern India during two journeys in January 2009 and 2010.

Black Kite in Delhi

Black Kite in Delhi

flying Black Kite

flying Black Kite

flying Black Kite

flying Black Kite

Black Kite in Delhi

Black Kite in Delhi

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