Misnomer

Our resident Black Kites have featured a number of times in recent weeks. Two individuals were soaring over Newstead today.

A brief few minutes of sunshine helped me realise that this species is not at all aptly named. It’s not really black at all – the upper parts are a dull brown with pale highlights, while underneath, rich chestnut feathers are a feature.

Milvus migrans is also known as the Fork-tailed Kite, Kite-Hawk, and in India the Pariah Kite, on account of its scavenging behaviour around human settlements, where sometimes thousands of kites will gather in search of food. As the photographs below indicate, these common names don’t do justice to this beautiful raptor.

BK1

Black Kite, Newstead, 5th July 2014.

BlackKite2

Looking a little ruffled on a bleak winter afternoon.

BlackKite3

The rich chestnut underwing coverts and belly, and clear barring on the tail and primaries are on show.

2 responses to “Misnomer

  1. These photographs, especially the third one, are just stunning. Absolutely beautiful. The details you have captured are engrossing as the closer I look the more I notice. Thank you.

  2. Saide of Sandon

    ‘Tis indeed a beautiful bird and so are your photos. The detailed markings and patterned colours are a visual delight. Thanks for sharing this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s