Black Kite

Scientific Name: Milvus migrans
Malay Name: Helang-Kembara Hitam
Chinese Name: 黑鸢

Found from Europe, Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Siberia, China, Japan, Korea, Indochina and discontinously to Sulawesi, Lesser Sundas, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia with the northern temperate populations wintering south to Africa, Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia

Polytypic. Subspecies are: migrans, lineatus, govinda, formosanus, affinis

Local Subspecies: lineatus

Size: 61-66 cm

Identification: Adult resembles juvenile Brahminy Kite but has darker overall plumage, distinctive forked tail that appears almost square-cut when broadly fanned in flight and conspicuous whitish patch on the base of primaries. Juvenile resembles adult but has prominent whitish streaks on breast and belly.

Similar looking species: Brahminy Kite, Booted Eagle

Habitat: Open country, reclaimed land, coastal habitat and forest.


Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Location: Recent sightings were at Changi, Tuas South, Punggol Barat, Central Catchment Forest, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Bulim Avenue and Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
Allen Jeyarajasingam & Alan Pearson (2012) A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore