751. The Kite.
Milvus ictinus, Savigny, Syst. Ois. d’Egypte, p. 28 (1810) ; Newton, i. p. 92 ; Dresser, v. p. 643, pl. 361 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus, i. p. 319 ; Saunders, p. 335 ; Falco milvus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 126 (1766) ; Naum. i. p. 333, taf. 31 ; M. regain, Vieill. Faun. Franc. Oiseaux, p. 14, pl. 7, fig. 1 (1821) ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. i. pl. 22 ; Lilford, p. 25, pl. 13 ; M. vulgaris, Flem. Brit. Anim. p. 51 (1828) ; Hewitson, i. p. 36, pl. xiii. ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 28.
Milan Royal, French ; Mithafre, Milano, Portug. ; Milano real, Span. ; Nibbio, Ital. ; Roter Milan, German ; Wouw, Dutch : Glente, Dan. and Norweg. ; Glada, Swed. ; Kokkolintu, Finn. ; Korschun canya, Russ. ; Siwana, Moor. ; Hadayia hamara, Arab.
Male ad. (N. Germany). Head and neck greyish white with ashy brown shaft-streaks ; upper parts dark brown broadly margined with rufous ; larger quills blackish, some of the inner secondaries with, white margins on the inner web ; upper tail-coverts rufous ; tail deeply forked, reddish brown, with dark bars on the inner webs ; under parts reddish brown striped with dark brown, the under tail-coverts reddish white ; beak blackish horn, bluish at the base ; cere and legs yellow ; iris yellowish white. Culmen 1.9, wing 19.0, tail 14.4, tarsus 2.3 inch. Female similar but rather paler and larger. The young bird has the crown blackish brown marked with white, the upper parts more rufous, the tail browner and with obsolete dark bars, the under parts pale rusty red with yellowish blotches, and the lower abdomen and under tail-coverts yellowish white.
Hab. Europe generally, rarer in the east, north to southern Norway and Sweden ; rare in Finland and in Great Britain ; Canaries, Madeira, and north-west Africa ; southern Russia and Palestine.
Heavy and somewhat sluggish in its habits, it is strong though not swift on the wing, and is often seen circling high up in the air. During the breeding season it frequents woods and groves, but at other times affects the open country. It feeds on young birds, small mammals, young hares and rabbits, lizards, snakes, frogs and large insects. As a rule it is a silent bird, but its cry is a clear hath, he, he, heah. Its nest is placed high up in a tree and is large, rather flat, constructed of sticks and lined with wool, straw, moss, rags, or any soft material. The eggs, 3, seldom 4, in number, are deposited in April or May, and are white, with a few violet grey shell-markings and reddish- brown surface spots and blotches, and measure about 2.42 by 1.77.
751. Milvus ictinus
751. The Kite.