RED KITE

Milvus milvus
English: Red Kite.
French: Milan royal.
Order: Accipitriformes.
Family: Accipitridae.
60-66 cm.
154-170 cm.
The Red Kite can only be confused with the Black Kite, which is generally darker in color, without reddish tints, and with a slightly less forked tail.
Both males and females have very similar plumage. Generally, males are slightly smaller than females. However, there is a considerable overlap, so this variable is not valid for sexing individuals of this species.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimen: they have a uniform plumage, that is, without any molt limit in the flight and rectrices feathers. The feathers on the chest are whitish with a narrow central dark line. On the other hand, greater coverts and primary coverts have a clear tip forming a fine line. The rectrices are brown (without orange tints) with a slightly marked subterminal bar. The beak has a dark base, and the iris is usually brown or grayish brown. Some individuals, in early autumn, may have adult-type body feathers.

2nd/3rd year specimen: this age is only recognizable in those individuals with juvenile flight feathers (mainly secondaries, secondary coverts, and/or rectrices) retained from the previous generation. These feathers will be faded brown in color, pointed, and show significant wear.

Adult specimen: they have intense tawny feathers on their chest with a broad central dark line. The primary coverts lack a white tip. The rectrices have an intense reddish tone, generally not barred. The base of the beak is yellowish, and the iris is a light yellow tone.
The Red Kite undergoes a complete postnuptial molt that begins in April and usually ends in October. During the postnuptial migration period, some external primaries and central secondaries are retained to be changed in the wintering areas. Some individuals occasionally retain some unmolted secondaries. On the other hand, the post-juvenile molt is a partial process that begins in some individuals with body feathers in October (others do not molt at all). The flight and rectrices feathers begin to change in March-April of the 2nd year, usually being a complete molt in most birds, although some individuals may retain juvenile flight feathers.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 13-15 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.
Link: http://blascozumeta.com/

La obtención de este material ha sido posible gracias al permiso necesario de la Junta de Andalucía.

AUTORIZACIÓN DE LA DIRECTORA GENERAL DE MEDIO NATURAL, BIODIVERSIDAD Y ESPACIOS PROTEGIDOS DE LA CONSEJERÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERÍA, PESCA Y DESARROLLO SOSTENIBLE DE LA JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA, PARA LA CESIÓN DE MUESTRAS BIOLÓGICAS DE ESPECIES DE FAUNA (ARTÍCULO 9 DE LA LEY 8/2003, DE 28 DE OCTUBRE, DE LA FLORA Y LA FAUNA SILVESTRES).

Medidas/Measures

Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:
Tarsus:

2nd year specimen

 

1.- Right wing primaries. 2.- Details of the inner vane of P7 and P6. 3.- Details of the outer vane of P4 and P3. 4.- Details of the tip of P4, P3, and P2. 5.- Details of the inner vane of P2 and P1. 6.- Details of the inner vane of P2 and P1. 7.- Details of the tip of P2 and P1. 8.- Right wing primaries. 9.- Details of the outer vane of the primaries. 10.- Details of the outer vane of the inner primaries. 11.- Details of the tip of the outer primaries. 12.- Secondaries (S1-S6). 13.- Secondaries (S7-S14). 14.- Details of the inner vane of S1, S2, and S3. 15.- Details of the inner vane of S4, S5, and S6. 16.- Details of the tip of S1 and S2. 17.- Details of the inner vane of S11. 18.- Right wing secondaries and tertiaries. 19.- Details of the tip of the secondaries. 20.- Details of the calamus of the secondaries. 21.- Details of S8 (a feather from the previous generation, not yet molted, with extensive wear). 22.- Right wing tertials. 23.- Details of S13. 24.- Right wing tertials. 25.- Right wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 26.- Right wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 27.- Right wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. Primary coverts + greater coverts. 28.- Right wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. Primary coverts + greater coverts + median coverts. 29.- Details of the median coverts. 30.- Details of the median coverts. 31.- Details of the retained median coverts with extensive wear. 32.- Right wing primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts (G, M, and L). Alula. 33.- Details of the primary coverts. 34.- Details of the greater coverts. 35.- Secondary coverts. 36.- Details of the lesser coverts. 37.- Details of the lesser coverts. 38.- Primary coverts. 39.- Greater coverts. 40.- Alula. 41.- Lesser coverts. 42.- Rectrices. 43.- Rectrices. 44.- Mounting of the rectrices. 45.- Details of the shaft of the rectrices. 46.- Details of the tip of the rectrices. 47.- Details of the inner vane of the rectrices. 48.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 49.- Details of the uppertail coverts. 50.- Uppertail coverts. 51.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 52.- Details of the undertail coverts. 53.- Mounting of the right scapula. 54.- Feathers of the scapula. 55.- Primary underwing coverts. 56.- Large underwing coverts. 57.- Axillary feathers. 58.- Mounting of the right flank. 59.- Feathers of the flank. 60.- Feathers of the back. 61.- Mounting of the feathers of the right thigh. 62.- Mounting of the feathers of the belly. 63.- Feathers of the belly. 64.- Crown feathers.

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