The Red Kite (Milvus Milvus) is a type of accipitriform bird which belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is comparable in appearance to the Black Kite, which is recognized by its silvery head and outline. The individuals of which are located in northern Europe move southward during the winter; some of them cross the Strait of Gibraltar to reach North Africa. Its spread extends as far as the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands. The number of inhabitants in the Balearic Islands has been characterized since 2011 as a danger due to the use of toxins to eliminate these specimens.
Taxonomy of Milvus Milvus
- Kingdom: Animalia, creatures.
- Subkingdom: Eumetazoa, eumetazoa, creatures with tissue.
- Phylum: Chordata, chordates, proximity of Notochordata in any case at some stage of their improvement.
- Subphylum: Vertebrata, proximity of the vertebral column.
- Superclass: Tetrapoda, tetrapods, composed of 4 limbs.
- Class: Birds, vertebrates with feathers and wings.
- Order: Accipitriformes, diurnal birds of prey.
- Family: Accipitridae, accipitridae.
- Type: Milvus.
- Species: Milvus Milvus.
Characteristics of Milvus Milvus
- The Milvus Milvus has a length of 60 to 65 centimeters, which varies according to the articular characteristics of each individual and the sex possessed by the same.
- This bird can reach a wingspan (distance from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other) of approximately two meters (190 centimeters in general).
- A specimen in excellent condition can reach a weight that varies between 900 grams to 1200 grams. (See Article About: The Corvus Corone).
- Its tail has an extremely forked shape. It is easy to differentiate it from the black kite, which is quite dark and has a less forked tail.
- The dominant color in the Milvus Milvus is reddish, with dark stripes on the ventral parts and on the back it is bordered type, as a result of the pale edges of the wing coverts.
- The head and neck have a pale, dark gray hue that is wrinkled by fine striations and extremely dull.
- Its wings are long, with an extremely obvious white spot, exceptionally uniform in width, and seen in flight are curved, with the carpal edges flexed and the hand drooping.
- The forked tail has a reddish orange color. Juveniles are fundamentally the same as the
- adults, however, in general, their shading is lighter and more uniform, without the grayish hue of the head, and their tail is shorter and less bifurcated.
- The legs are short and yellow.
- As long as it is perched, it is also easy to separate it from different birds of prey of comparable size, and also by the state of the tail, as it has a quite adapted figure.
- They have a very strong beak which allows them to destroy their prey with ease.
- Males and females are comparable in appearance despite the fact that males tend to be somewhat larger.
- These are winged animals in freedom and living in optimal conditions without any inconvenience, they can reach 24 years of age and in captivity there are records of specimens that have lived up to 26 years.
Diet of the Milvus Milvus
Despite the fact that it has a very limited predatory capacity, its diet is particularly fluctuating with a certain inclination to be a scavenger bird.
In spring and summer, their typical feeding regime is composed of effortlessly captured prey, e.g., small mammals, which may be sick or in good condition, including myxomatous rabbits, birds and young medium-sized flying creatures, micromammals, land and water creatures, reptiles and rare bugs.
On the other hand, during harvest and winter, the onion cricket is a key part of their diet, and it is also common to see them scurrying around garbage dumps, slaughterhouses, dunghills or in some regions in search of carcasses.
This species can usually be seen together with vultures feeding on the carcasses of large warm-blooded creatures. Milvus Milvus is certainly not an extremely solid forager for catching prey to the extent of a rabbit, however, it can get little warm-blooded animals, for example, voles. (See article on: The Corvidae).
They also devour feathered creatures up to the size of a crow, but always prefer to eat smaller birds. Among the birds most often eaten by Milvus milvus is the songbird.
Breeding and reproduction
As for the reproduction of the Milvus Milvus, it is a monogamous type of animal with pairs that stay together forever. Every year around March, the pair courts each other again to reestablish their bond.
It usually settles in trees, where it makes its nest with various branches and leaves it obtains from nearby trees. The set of eggs laid is composed of a number ranging from a single egg and sometimes up to three. It will take about thirty-five days to hatch the eggs. The male for the most part replaces the female in brooding for a short time, while the female forages for food for herself.
The Milvus Milvus chooses its mate in the middle of spring, in a romance that incorporates the art of mid-air trapeze with mincing and mistreatment. After this impressive parade, the pair builds or prepares the nest, which is situated high up on a fork or side branch of a tree.
This nest is very unpleasant, made with branches and upholstered with grass, wool or even clothing; it can last for a long time, after some annual repairs, impressive measurements, up to 1 m in diameter.
The female lays an average of 1 to 5 dull white eggs, with pink spots ??darker, usually hatching the eggs for a period of 31 to 32 days until hatching time. (See Article About: Histomonas Meleagridis).
Eggs are laid on different days, so they hatch on different days and that is why in most nests you can see that the chicks have different sizes. In the first two weeks they are nourished by the female with the male’s sustenance, and after that she also joins the search for sustenance.
At 45 – 50 days the young investigate the surroundings of the nest in spite of the fact that it will take half a month until their plumage grows completely.These winged animals finish their mature plumage at one year of age, however, they will not repeat until the point at which they achieve 3 years.
Milvus Milvus is a winged animal that as it settles down it leans towards lush territories, forests and open fields, however, it is usually found in places with scattered trees that do not happen to be thick stands, riparian woodlands, isolated patches of stone pines and expansive holm oak and oak or oak wood pastures.
It is very familiar with cities and domestic animals such as cattle, farming of beef steers, chickens or pigs or even industrial hot dog facilities.In winter, it is not very far from the trees, in clear and uncluttered areas, for example, wastelands, bushes, among others. At these times they usually have different places to sleep.
The nutrition of Milvus Milvus is not specific, so it can take a considerable amount of assets that it gets in nature. When it comes to chasing, it chooses prey which can be captured effortlessly, for example, small, weakened or stray creatures, which include rabbits, medium-sized winged animals, small warm-blooded animals, land and water creatures, reptiles and insects.
The habitat in which this bird resides is favorable to get all these foods to which it has been accustomed for decades, it gets them easily and in great abundance, so it can have all the nutrients necessary for its development.
This type of bird has varied a little the areas where it usually inhabits, generally it is known that it started in open regions with substantial disconnected trees or scattered forest patches, staying away from expansive forest areas (i.e. it simply uses the edges of these or their clearings). It currently uses riparian forests, isolated spots of huge stone pines, and clearings with holm oaks, oaks, or oak trees.
Distribution of Milvus Milvus
The main part of the population numbers of Milvus Milvus is found in Germany, France and Spain; there are scattered populations in North Africa, the Mediterranean islands, Great Britain, Turkey, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.
That kind of bird had an abundant population before, its population has decreased due to the extraordinary oppression with respect to man. In Spain there is a vital breeding population that appears in Navarra, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Aragon, Castilla Leon, Madrid, Extremadura and Andalusia.
Milvus Milvus does not occur in Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Valencian Community and Murcia, the Catalan riparian regions, Albacete, Almeria and Malaga. In mid-winter, the Spanish population joins the specimens originating from what is left of Europe, making this nation the main target for the hibernation of the species. (See Article About: Bird Feeders).
Most of the birds arrive in the territory in September, although the most extreme flooding occurs between October and November, reaching its peak in January. The fundamental districts of centralization of the kites are Aragón, Navarra, Castilla León, Extremadura and some sections of western Andalusia.
The European population is evaluated at 19,000 to 24,000 sets and the Spanish population at 1,900 to 2,700. This information reflects a decline since the 1990s of 43% of the information existing in the 79s and 80s. The decline of wintering in this nation has also been diminished.
Milvus Milvus is a predominantly transient feathered creature of northern and central Europe, despite the fact that there is an increasing tendency to overwinter in these areas, including southern Sweden.
Populations in the south of its area of occupancy and, in addition, in Wales are stationary, with a more noticeable or lesser level of adolescent dispersal. Most of the specimens transiting the area overwinter in southern France and particularly in the Iberian Peninsula, crossing the western Pyrenees, where 10,300 winged creatures have been recorded in the 1989 migration movement. There is also some movement towards North Africa.
Dangers and protection of Milvus Milvus
This species is catalogued within the endangered group, incorporated in the National Catalogue of Threatened Species as Vulnerable. In areas such as the Balearic Islands, it was announced as threatened with annihilation.Incorporated into Directive 79
This species is threatened, as are others, a vital asset for tourism that had some experience in viewing feathered creatures. Along these lines, the recovery of the species involves building a financial action in rustic conditions with an incredible probability and that supports the financial advancement of the domain.
The main dangers of the species must be related to the great defenselessness of a great number of broods, especially those formed in insular forests, whose insurance is necessary, since most of them are in regions excluded from the red list of protected species.
In this regard, the Ministry of Environment and Planning has consented to joint effort agreements with private landowners to save these enclaves of high ecological esteem, an activity that is required to unite different households. It has additionally educated ranchers on the need to protect biodiversity and their living spaces (islands, woods, supports, etc.), a state of obligatory consistency to get a European agricultural guide. (See article on: Coccidiosis in poultry).
The condition affirms the proximity of 56 pairs with breeding possibilities of royal kite in Andalusia, of which 95% of the pairs are located in the Natural Area of Doñana.
The censuses completed by the Ministry of Environment and Territorial Planning in 2015 have confirmed the proximity in Andalusia of 56 breeding pairs of the Milvus Milvus, a species called endangered and incorporated in the Bird Recovery and Conservation Plan.
They were enlisted in the Doñana Natural Area (22 in the Doñana Biological Reserve and 31 in different regions of the national stopover and characteristic stopover) and 3 in the regular parks of Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche.
This information affirms that since 2005, when 32 pairs were counted, the breeding population of this species has undergone a direct increase, although it is clear that it is relatively confined to the Doñana Natural Area, where 95% are located in breeding assemblages.
Within this enclave, 22 did twilight, although only 6 discovered how to obtain fledged chicks, specifically 7 of them. Because of the normal stopovers in Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche, the propagation of one of the three pairs, which delivered two chicks, has been affirmed. It should be noted that in the preparation of these censuses, the observation group of the Ministry has had the coordinated effort of the Biological Station of Doñana.
Despite the fact that the number of breeding pairs has increased by 10 with respect to 2014, the year in which 46 were counted, the breeding parameters of the species are low. Among the causes rearranged are the meteorological factor: low precipitation recorded in a five-year cycle has caused the marsh to remain dry for all intents and purposes between the breeding season and, in addition, a high mortality rate, which could be causing persistent declines in conceptive examples, and a high proximity of unpracticed examples in the assemblages with the resulting higher probability of regenerative disappointment.
To this must be included the high unnatural mortality related to the ingestion of detrimental draws for illegal predator control and the inconvenience produced in the breeding period of the species.
Song of the Milvus Milvus
In some cases, it emits a woolly moaning sound, trailed by rising and sliding notes. The song does not vary much between the ancestral species and subspecies, as it can be confused with some other birds of prey. (See Article About: The Phalacrocorax).
Although it is clear that the best way to identify these birds is guided by their appearance, since the sound emitted will depend a lot on the individual in question and the situation in which it finds itself.
A graphic description of the sound of the Milvus Milvus may be that of a very peaceful song, a thin, padded howl, similar to that of a Mousy Buzzard, trailed by long sounds and giddy notes, “uii-uuh, ii uu ii uu ii uu ii uu ii uu”. Also, a “uii-gracious” refrain.
Milvus Milvus subspecies
Currently only two subspecies of Milvus Milvus are known, which are:
- Milvus Milvus – Western Palearctic (localized).
- Milvus Milvus fasciicauda – Cape Verde.
There are countries that have an impressively growing population of this medium-sized, pink-shaded, forked-tailed, exceptionally agile-flying, medium-sized bird of prey, meanwhile it has an unforeseen imperative of wintry European winged creatures.
In spite of its clear richness, the Milvus Milvus’s inhabitant numbers have undergone a sharp decline lately. In midwinter, this raptor with very scavenging inclinations that frames collective perches located in forests or small stream forests.
This is one of the main reasons why it has managed to survive, despite the fact that it must compete for food and that humans have reduced its population to a great extent, many specimens of this bird can still be seen throughout the territory and even many specimens of the subspecies that have developed well even though they are descended from the ancestral species can be observed.
Kites have a very important significance in the ecosystem, as these are seen as a control of large rat populations and help eliminate carrion, which is a potential disperser of infections.
About two centuries ago this bird was considered to be exceptionally significant in urban areas and cities, however, today it is not as regular to see them in urban situations. This winged creature has a reputation for wearing garments that are left outside to dry and used for their home.
Although not all people are able to see the potential of a winged species that has had the opportunity to live with us for so many decades, there are some people who do appreciate them and make every effort to keep these species among us.
The refuges are responsible for taking stable chicks which have the opportunity to develop to a stage in which they can fend for themselves, so it is always considered to collaborate as much as possible with them, although the government does not do much interest in protecting these specimens, if we all decide to unite as a large community, we will make a big change in the ecosystem and perhaps someday we can reverse all the damage we have caused with so much pollution. (See Article About: The Rascon Bird).