752. Black Kite.
Milvus migrans (Bodd), Tabl. Pl. Enl. p. 28 (1783) ; Gould, B. of tit. Brit. i. pl. 23 ; Newton, i. p. 97 ; Dresser, v. p. 651, pl. 362 ; Saunders, p. 337 ; Lilford, i. p. 27, pl. 14 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 378 ; M. ater (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 262 (1788) ; Naum. i. p. 340, taf. 31, fig. 2 ; M. niger, Bp. Comp. List, p. 4 (1838) ; M. korschun, Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 322 (nec. Gmel.)
Milan noir, French ; Milano negro, Span. ; Nibbio nero, Ital. ; Schwarzer Milan, German ; Sort Glente, Dan. ; Brun Glada, Swed. ; Korschun, Russ. ; Haddya, Arab.
Male ad. (Spain). Crown, throat, sides of head, and nape white, the forehead narrowly, and the other parts more broadly striped with blackish brown ; upper parts dark hair-brown, the hind-neck with dark stripes, and pale margins to some of the wing-coverts ; outer quills blackish, the inner ones like the back ; tail dark greyish hair-brown, obsoletely barred and slightly forked ; breast clove-brown with blackish stripes ; rest of under parts deep ferruginous, each feather with a dark shaft line ; bill blackish horn, yellowish at the base of the lower mandible ; cere and legs pale yellow ; iris yellowish grey, surrounded by a black line. Culmen 1.6. wing 17.0, tail 11.2, tarsus 2.25 inch. Female rather larger, darker and in general more rufous in tinge. The young bird is dull brown above and below, only rufous on the abdomen, and everywhere the feathers have dull yellowish white or honey-yellow tips giving the bird a spotted appearance, these tips being also larger on the crown and nape ; iris dark.
Hab. Central and southern Europe, of rare occurrence in northern Europe ; has once been obtained in England ; Africa south to the Cape ; Cape Verde Islands ; Madagascar ; Asia as far east as Afghanistan.
As a rule it is a shyer bird than the Kite, and more buoyant and graceful on the wing. It frequents woodlands, especially near water, and preys on frogs, fish, small mammals, and will also feed on offal and carrion. Its cry is a shrill whistling call, easily distinguishable to a practised ear from that of M. ictinus. Its nest resembles that of the Buzzard, and is placed in a tree, and the eggs, from 2 to 4 in number, are deposited in April or May, and resemble those of the Kite and Buzzard but are as a rule smaller, averaging in size about 2.0 by 1.64.
752. Milvus migrans
752. Black Kite.