Black kite

The black kite (Milvus migrans) is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors. It is thought to be the world's most abundant species of Accipitridae, although some populations have experienced dramatic declines or fluctuations.[2] Current global population estimates run up to 6 million individuals.[1] Unlike others of the group, black kites are opportunistic hunters and are more likely to scavenge. They spend a lot of time soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food. Their angled wing and distinctive forked tail make them easy to identify. They are also vociferous with a shrill whinnying call. This kite is widely distributed through the temperate and tropical parts of Eurasia and parts of Australasia and Oceania, with the temperate region populations tending to be migratory. Several subspecies are recognized and formerly had their own English names. The European populations are small, but the South Asian population is very large.

Black kite
M. m. affinis, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Milvus
M. migrans
Binomial name
Milvus migrans
(Boddaert, 1783)

5, see text

MilvusMigransIUCNver2018 2
Range of black and yellow-billed kites      Breeding      Resident      Non-breeding      Passage
  • Falco migrans Boddaert, 1783
  • Milvus affinis
  • Milvus ater
  • Milvus melanotis
Yellow-billed Kite (Milvus aegyptius parasitus)
M. m. parasiticus
Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda

Systematics and taxonomy

The black kite was described by the French polymath Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon in his Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux in 1770.[3] The bird was also illustrated in a hand-coloured plate engraved by François-Nicolas Martinet in the Planches Enluminées D'Histoire Naturelle. This was produced under the supervision of Edme-Louis Daubenton to accompany Buffon's text.[4] Neither the plate caption nor Buffon's description included a scientific name but in 1783 the Dutch naturalist Pieter Boddaert coined the binomial name Falco migrans in his catalogue of the Planche Enluminées.[5] The type locality is France.[6] The current genus Milvus was erected by the French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède in 1799.[7] Milvus is the Latin word for a red kite; the specific migrans means "migrating" from the Latin migrare "to migrate".[8]

The red kite has been known to hybridize with the black kite (in captivity where both species were kept together, and in the wild on the Cape Verde Islands).[9]

Recent DNA studies suggest that the yellow-billed African races parasitus and aegyptius differ significantly from black kites in the Eurasian clade, and should be considered a separate allopatric species: yellow-billed kite, M. aegyptius.[10] They occur throughout Africa except for the Congo basin and the Sahara Desert. There have been some suggestions that the black-eared kite (M. m. lineatus) should be elevated to full species status as M. lineatus, but this is not well supported.[11]


  • M. m. migrans(Boddaert, 1783): European black kite
Breeds central, southern and eastern Europe, as well as the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa, to Tien Shan and south to northwest Pakistan. Winters in Sub-Saharan Africa. The head is whitish.
  • M. m. lineatus(J. E. Gray, 1831): black-eared kite
Siberia to Amurland S around Himalaya to N India, N Indochina and S China; Japan. Northern inland birds migrate to E Persian Gulf coast and S Asia in winter. This has a larger pale carpal patch.
  • M. m. govindaSykes, 1832: small Indian kite (formerly pariah kite)
Eastern Pakistan east through tropical India and Sri Lanka to Indochina and Malay Peninsula. Resident. A dark brown kite found throughout the subcontinent. Can be seen circling and soaring in urban areas. Easily distinguished by the shallow forked tail. The name pariah originates from the Indian caste system and usage of this name is deprecated.[12][13]
  • M. m. affinisGould, 1838: fork-tailed kite
Sulawesi and possibly Lesser Sunda Islands; Papua New Guinea except mountains; NE and E Australia.
  • M. m. formosanusKuroda, 1920: Taiwan kite
Taiwan and Hainan; resident.
Black kite (Milvus migrans migrans) in flight

M. m. migrans, Morocco

Milvus migrans -Japan -flying-8

M. m. lineatus, Japan

Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Jalpaiguri

M. m. govinda, India

Black Kite June09

M. m. affinis, Australia


Black kites can be distinguished from red kites by the slightly smaller size, less forked tail (visible in flight), and generally dark plumage without any rufous. The sexes are alike. The upper plumage is brown but the head and neck tend to be paler. The patch behind the eye appears darker. The outer flight feathers are black and the feathers have dark cross bars and are mottled at the base. The lower parts of the body are pale brown, becoming lighter towards the chin. The body feathers have dark shafts giving it a streaked appearance. The cere and gape are yellow, but the bill is black (unlike in the yellow-billed kite). The legs are yellow and the claws are black. They have a distinctive shrill whistle followed by a rapid whinnying call. Males and females have the same plumage but females are longer than males. Their wingspan is around 150 cm.[14]


The species is found in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The temperate populations of this kite tend to be migratory while the tropical ones are resident. European and central Asian birds (subspecies M. m. migrans and black-eared kite M. m. lineatus, respectively) are migratory, moving to the tropics in winter, but races in warmer regions such as the Indian M. m. govinda (small Indian/pariah kite), or the Australasian M. m. affinis (fork-tailed kite), are resident. In some areas such as in the United Kingdom, the black kite occurs only as a wanderer on migration. These birds are usually of the nominate race, but in November 2006 a juvenile of the eastern lineatus, not previously recorded in western Europe, was found in Lincolnshire.[15]

The species is not found in the Indonesian archipelago between the South East Asian mainland and the Wallace Line. Vagrants, most likely of the black-eared kite, on occasion range far into the Pacific, out to the Hawaiian islands.

In India, the population of M. m. govinda is particularly large especially in areas of high human population. Here the birds avoid heavily forested regions. A survey in 1967 in the 150 square kilometres of the city of New Delhi produced an estimate of about 2200 pairs or roughly 15 per square kilometre.[14][16] Another survey in 2013 estimated 150 pairs for every 10 square kilometres.[17]

Vagrants from Australia occasionally reach New Zealand, however, only one individual has persisted there (currently ~21 years old).[18]

Behaviour and ecology

Food and foraging

Black kites are most often seen gliding and soaring on thermals as they search for food. The flight is buoyant and the bird glides with ease, changing directions easily. They will swoop down with their legs lowered to snatch small live prey, fish, household refuse and carrion, for which behaviour they are known in British military slang as the shite-hawk. They are opportunist hunters and have been known to take birds, bats,[19] and rodents.[20] They are attracted to smoke and fires, where they seek escaping prey.[21] It has been claimed in native Australian beliefs, that kites spread fires by picking and dropping burning twigs so as to flush prey.[22] The Indian populations are well adapted to living in cities and are found in densely populated areas. Large numbers may be seen soaring in thermals over cities. In some places, they will readily swoop and snatch food held by humans.[14][23] Black kites in Spain prey on nestling waterfowl especially during summer to feed their young. Predation of nests of other pairs of black kites has also been noted.[24] Kites have also been seen to tear and carry away the nests of baya weavers in an attempt to obtain eggs or chicks.[25]

Flocking and roosting

In winter, kites form large communal roosts. Flocks may fly about before settling at the roost.[23] When migrating, the black kite has a greater propensity to form large flocks than other migratory raptors, particularly prior to making a crossing across water.[26] In India, the subspecies govinda shows large seasonal fluctuations with the highest numbers seen from July to October, after the monsoons, and it has been suggested that they make local movements in response to high rainfall.[27]


The breeding season of black kites in India begins in winter (mainly January and February[28]), the young birds fledging before the monsoons. The nest is a rough platform of twigs and rags placed in a tree. Nest sites may be reused in subsequent years. European birds breed in summer. Birds in the Italian Alps tended to build their nest close to water in steep cliffs or tall trees.[29] Nest orientation may be related to wind and rainfall.[30] The nests may sometimes be decorated with bright materials such as white plastic and a study in Spain suggests that they may have a role in signalling to keep away other kites.[31] After pairing, the male frequently copulates with the female. Unguarded females may be approached by other males, and extra pair copulations are frequent. Males returning from a foraging trip will frequently copulate on return, as this increases the chances of his sperm fertilizing the eggs rather than a different male.[32] Both the male and female take part in nest building, incubation and care of chicks. The typical clutch size is 2 or sometimes 3 eggs.[23][33] The incubation period varies from 30–34 days. Chicks of the Indian population stayed at the nest for nearly two months.[28] Chicks hatched later in European populations appeared to fledge faster. The care of young by the parents also rapidly decreased with the need for adults to migrate.[34][35] Siblings show aggression to each other and often the weaker chick may be killed, but parent birds were found to preferentially feed the smaller chicks in experimentally altered nests.[36] Newly hatched young have down (prepennae) which are sepia on the back and black around the eye and buff on the head, neck and underparts. This is replaced by brownish-gray second down (preplumulae). After 9–12 days, the second down appears on the whole body except the top of the head. Body feathers begin to appear after 18 to 22 days. The feathers on the head become noticeable from the 24th to 29th day. The nestlings initially feed on food fallen at the bottom of the nest and begin to tear flesh after 33–39 days. They are able to stand on their legs after 17–19 days and begin flapping their wings after 27–31 days. After 50 days, they begin to move to branches next to the nest.[37][38] Birds are able to breed after their second year.[28] Parent birds guard their nest and will dive aggressively at intruders. Humans who intrude the nest appear to be recognized by birds and singled out for dive attacks.[39]

Milvus migrans MHNT.ZOO.2006.11.86
Eggs - MHNT

Mortality factors

Black-eared kites in Japan were found to accumulate nearly 70% of mercury accumulated from polluted food in the feathers, thus excreting it in the moult process.[40] Black kites often perch on electric wires and are frequent victims of electrocution.[41][42] Their habit of swooping to pick up dead rodents or other roadkill leads to collisions with vehicles.[43] Instances of mass poisoning as a result of feeding on poisoned voles in agricultural fields have been noted.[44] They are also a major nuisance at some airports, where their size makes them a significant birdstrike hazard.[45]

As a large raptorial bird, the black kite has few natural predators. However, they do have a single serious predator: the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). The eagle-owl freely picks off kites of any age from the nestling stage to adulthood and were noted to precipitously decrease kite breeding success when nesting within kilometres of the kites in the Italian Alps.[46] Like most bird species, they have parasites, several species of endoparasitic trematodes are known[47] and some Digenea species that are transmitted via fishes.[48][49][50]

Birds with abnormal development of a secondary upper mandible have been recorded in govinda[51] and lineatus.[52]


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Further reading

External links

144 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force

The 144 Squadron "Blackite" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force was a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Dare To Excel" with the black kite adopted as its mascot.

Beer in Hong Kong

The history of beer in Hong Kong dates back to the mid-19th century. Currently the best selling beer is San Miguel, brewed by San Miguel Brewery Hong Kong. San Miguel has been brewed in Sham Tseng since 1948 and later moved to Yuen Long until 2007. The brewery was reopened in 2009.

Carlsberg was also brewed in Tai Po since the 1980s until recently. Blue Girl Beer, a brand owned by the Hong Kong-based trading and distribution company Jebsen & Co., is brewed in South Korea under supervision of Jebsen & Co.

Other notable brands include Tsingtao and Corona. Jolly Shandy is also fairly popular among women and youngsters.

International craft beer and microbrews have seen a rise in popularity since 2010, with specialty and premium beer from countries such as Belgium, the UK, Australia, the USA and Japan being more widely available. This has led to the formation of the Craft Beer Association of Hong Kong, made up of distributors, consumers, retailers, bars & restaurants.

Black Kite (film)

Black Kite is a 2017 Afghan-Canadian drama film directed by Tarique Qayumi. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

DRDO Imperial Eagle

The Imperial Eagle is an Indian light-weight mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation's Aeronautical Development Establishment, the National Aerospace Laboratories and supported by private vendors. Its primary users will be the National Security Guard and the military services.


Ulka (Sanskrit: meteor or firebrand) is an air-launched expendable target drone of India.

Fukudaimae Station

Fukudaimae Station (福大前駅) is a subway station on the Fukuoka City Subway Nanakuma Line in Jōnan-ku, Fukuoka in Japan. Its station symbol is a picture of a black kite in blue, the symbol of the Fukuoka University.

Kite (bird)

Kite is a common name for certain birds of prey in the family Accipitridae, particularly in subfamilies Milvinae, Elaninae, and Perninae.Some authors use the terms "hovering kite" and "soaring kite" to distinguish between Elanus and the milvine kites, respectively. The groups may also be differentiated by size, referring to milvine kites as "large kites", and elanine kites as "small kites".

Kure Atoll

Kure Atoll (; Hawaiian: Mokupāpapa) or Ocean Island is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean 48 nautical miles (89 km; 55 mi) beyond Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at 28°25′N 178°20′W. The only land of significant size is called Green Island and is a habitat for hundreds of thousands of seabirds. A short, unused and unmaintained runway and a portion of one building, both from a former United States Coast Guard LORAN station, are located on the island. Politically it is part of Hawaii, although separated from the rest of the state by Midway, which is a separate unorganized territory. Green Island, in addition to being the nesting grounds of tens of thousands of seabirds, has recorded several vagrant terrestrial birds including snow bunting, eyebrowed thrush, brambling, olive-backed pipit, black kite, Steller's sea eagle and Chinese sparrowhawk.

List of Afghan films

A list of notable films produced in Afghanistan.

The highest grossing Afghan film as of 2017 is Osama with over $3,800,000 from a budget of only $46,000. The film was very well received by the Western cinematic world. It gathered a rating of 96% based on 100 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, a website which tabulates the reviews from professional film critics into a single rating.

List of birds of Islamabad

This is a list of birds found in Islamabad, Pakistan. Seventy-two species of birds have been found in this area. The best places to watch are Margalla Hills and Rawal Lake.

Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger

Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax

Indian pond heron (Paddybird), Ardeola grayii

Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis

Little egret, Egretta garzetta

Intermediate egret, Egretta intermedia

Grey heron, Ardea cinerea

Purple heron, Ardea purpurea

Common teal, Anas crecca

Black kite, Milvus migrans

Shikra, Accipiter badius

Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus

Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Grey francolin, Francolinus pondicerianus

Common quail, Coturnix coturnix

Brown waterhen, Amaurornis akool

White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus

Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian coot, Fulica atra

Red-wattled lapwing, Hoplopterus indicus

Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos

Black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus

Feral pigeon, Columba livia

Wood pigeon, Columba palumbus

Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto

Palm dove, Spilopelia senegalensis

Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis

Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri

Common koel, Eudynamys scolopacea

Greater coucal, Centropus sinensis

House swift, Apus affinis

White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis

Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

Hoopoe, Upupa epops

Lesser golden-backed woodpecker, Dinopium benghalense

Brown-fronted woodpecker, Dendrocopos auriceps

Crested lark, Galerida cristata

Small skylark, Alauda gulgula

Brown-throated sand martin, Riparia paludicola

Pale sand martin, Riparia diluta

Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

Red-rumped swallow, Hirundo daurica

Paddyfield pipit, Anthus rufulus

Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea

White wagtail, Motacilla alba

Large pied wagtail, Motacilla maderaspatensis

Himalayan bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys

Red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer

Dark-grey bushchat, Saxicola ferrea

Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius

Blue whistling thrush, Myophonus caeruleus

Fan-tailed warbler, Cisticola juncidis

Tawny prinia, Prinia inornata

Yellow-bellied prinia, Prinia flaviventris

Hume's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus humei

White-throated fantail, Rhipidura albicollis

Black-chinned babbler, Stachyris pyrrhops

Common babbler, Turdoides caudatus

Jungle babbler, Turdoides striatus

Great tit, Parus major

Bar-tailed treecreeper, Certhia himalayana

Oriental white-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus

Rufous-backed shrike, Lanius schach

Black drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus

House crow, Corvus splendens

Brahminy starling, Sturnus pagodarum

Common myna, Acridotheres tristis

Bank myna, Acridotheres ginginianus

House sparrow, Passer domesticus

Alexandrine parakeet, Psittacula eupatria

Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis

Rufous treepie, Dendrocitta vagabunda

Indian robin, Saxicoloides fulicatus

Lower Polissia National Nature Park

Lower Polissia National Park (Ukrainian: Національний природний парк «Мале Полісся») is a National Park in Khmelnytsky region, Ukraine, created in 2013.

The park is a 8,762 hectares (87.62 km2) section of Polissia region and includes several lakes and wetland areas as well as parts of river valleys Gorin, Vilia, Gnylyi Rih.

The Lower Polissia is a haven for birds - there are 186 species of them, including those unique for the area. Mammals are represented by around 33 species, among them 4 species of European Red List (Alburnoides bipunctatus, Crucian carp, white-tailed eagle, black kite) and 101 species of Annex 2 of the Berne Convention, 11 species listed in the Red Book of Ukraine, including: badger, gray crane, river otter.

The Park’s waters are full of fish - 18 species - as well as amphibians.


Milvus is a genus of medium-sized birds of prey.

The genus was erected by the French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède in 1799. Milvus is the Latin word for the red kite.This is an Old World group consisting of three kites that form part of the subfamily Milvinae. Its systematics are under revision; it contains 3 or 4 species.

Red kite, Milvus milvus

Cape Verde kite, Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda extinct (2000)

Black kite, Milvus migrans

Black-eared kite, Milvus (migrans) lineatus

Yellow-billed kite, Milvus aegyptiusAllozyme data indicates that the genetic diversity in both black and red kites is rather low. Successful hybridization between Milvus kites is fairly commonplace, making mtDNA analyses unreliable to resolve the genus' phylogeny. Furthermore, there is no good correlation between molecular characters and biogeography and morphology in the red kite due to very incomplete lineage sorting.

The yellow-billed kite is apparently a separate species, as indicated by mtDNA phylogeny showing two supported clades, biogeography, and morphology. The black-eared kite is somewhat distinct morphologically, but is better considered a well-marked parapatric subspecies. The status of the Cape Verde kite is in doubt; while not a completely monophyletic lineage according to mtDNA data, it is still best regarded as a distinct species. Whatever its status, this population is extinct.

A prehistoric kite from the Early Pleistocene (1.8 million–780,000 years ago) deposits at Ubeidiya (Israel) was described as Milvus pygmaeus.

NAL / ADE Black Kite

The NAL/ADE Black Kite is an unmanned Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) technology demonstrator developed jointly by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) of CSIRI and supported by private vendors. It is one of the airframe designs being pursued for " National Program on Micro Air Vehicles" (NP-MICAV)

Patna Bird Sanctuary

Patna Bird Sanctuary is a protected area in Uttar Pradesh's Etah district encompassing a lentic lake that is an important wintering ground for migrating birds. It was founded in 1991 and covers an area of 1.09 km2 (0.42 sq mi). With a lake area of only 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi), it is the smallest bird sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.

The water quality of the lake supports a wide range of avifauna during winter season. The entire lake area gets covered by profuse growth of macrophytic vegetation of water hyacinth and Potamogeton species during summers.

About 200,000 birds of 300 different bird species frequent the sanctuary. More than 106 species of migratory and resident birds are known to have their resting habitats around the lake. The important aquatic birds inhabiting lake are:

Lesser whistling-duck

Graylag goose

Comb duck

Ruddy shelduck


Eurasian wigeon

Indian spot-billed duck

Northern shoveler

Northern pintail

Green-winged teal

Common pochard

Ferruginous duck

Baer's pochard

Tufted duck

Indian peafowl

Common quail

Black francolin

Gray francolin

Little grebe

Asian openbill

Woolly-necked stork

Black-necked stork

Little cormorant

Great cormorant

Purple heron

Cattle egret

Indian pond-heron

Black-headed ibis

Red-naped ibis

Eurasian spoonbill

Black-shouldered kite

Egyptian vulture

Booted eagle

Bonelli's eagle


Black kite

Eurasian coot

Sarus crane

Black-winged stilt

Black-tailed godwit

Laughing dove

Greater coucal

Rose-ringed parakeet

Plum-headed parakeet

Long-tailed shrike

Black drongo

Rufous treepie

Ashy-crowned sparrow-lark

Bengal bushlark

Red-vented bulbul

Plain leaf warbler

Ashy prinia

Plain prinia

Common babbler

Oriental magpie-robin

Brahminy starling

Common myna

Bank myna

Purple sunbird

Indian silverbill

Scaly-breasted munia

Pecten oculi

The pecten or pecten oculi is a comb-like structure of blood vessels belonging to the choroid in the eye of a bird. It is a non-sensory, pigmented structure that projects into the vitreous body from the point where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. The pecten is believed to both nourish the retina and control the pH of the vitreous body. High level of enzyme alkaline phosphatase activity in pecten oculi has been linked to transport of nutrient molecules from highly vascularized pecten oculi into vitreous and then into retinal cells for nourishment. It is present in all birds and some reptiles.In the vertebrate eye, blood vessels lie in front of the retina, partially obscuring the image. The pecten helps to solve this problem by greatly reducing the number of blood vessels in the retina and leading to the extremely sharp eyesight of birds such as hawks. The pigmentation of the pecten is believed to protect the blood vessels against damage from ultraviolet light. Stray-light absorption by melanin granules of pecten oculi is also considered to give rise to small increments in temperature of pecten and eye; this may offer increased metabolic rate to optimize eye physiology in low temperatures at high-altitude flights. The structure varies across bird species and is conical in the kiwi, vaned in the ostrich and pleated in most other birds.

Red kite

The red kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers. The species currently breeds in the Western Palearctic region of Europe and northwest Africa, though it formerly also occurred in northern Iran. It is resident in the milder parts of its range in western Europe and northwest Africa, but birds from northeastern and central Europe winter further south and west, reaching south to Turkey. Vagrants have reached north to Finland and south to Israel, Libya and Gambia.

Riether Werder

The Riether Werder, also Riethscher Werder (Polish Ostrów), is an island in the Neuwarper See, a bay in the Stettin Lagoon. It is the only island in the lagoon on German territory.

The first recorded mention of the island dates to the year 1252, when Duke Barnim I of Pomerania gifted this island along with other possessions to Eldena Abbey. It was then given it the Slavic name Wozstro. The present name of the island is derived from the village of Rieth on the southern shore of the bay.

The island belongs to the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and lies in the extreme northeast of Germany. It has national importance as a bird island. It is 0.79 km² in area and lies about a kilometre from the south and west shore of the Neuwarper See. The sea border with Poland runs immediately past the eastern tip of the island.

Rare bird species such as the common tern and the snipe may be encountered here. White-tailed eagle, Montagu's harrier, marsh harrier, red kite, black kite, kestrel, hobby, honey buzzard and common buzzard are also found here. Access to the island is forbidden; like the west shore of the Neuwarper See it is part of the Altwarp Inland Dunes, Neuwarper See and Riether Werder Nature Reserve.


Shite-hawk (also spelled shitehawk) or shit-hawk or shitty hawk is a slang name applied to various birds of prey that exhibit scavenging behaviour, originally and primarily the black kite, although the term has also been applied to other birds such as the herring gull. It is also a slang derogatory term for an unpleasant person.

Yellow-billed kite

The yellow-billed kite (Milvus aegyptius) is the Afrotropic counterpart of the black kite (Milvus migrans), of which it is most often considered a subspecies. However, recent DNA studies suggest that the yellow-billed kite differs significantly from black kites in the Eurasian clade, and should be considered as a separate, allopatric species.There are two subspecies: M. a. parasitus, found throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa (including Madagascar), except for the Congo Basin (with intra-African migrations) and M. a. aegyptius of Egypt, south-west Arabia and the Horn of Africa (which disperses south during the non-breeding season).

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