Kites (Elaninae, Milvinae)

Kites (Elaninae and Milvinae) 

Kites are medium to large sized birds of prey in the family Accipitridae. They have sharp and strong talons with sharp and hooked beaks which help them tear the meat from their prey.

There are two types of Kites found in India – Elanus Kites and Milvine Kites. The Elanus Kites are much smaller than the Milvine Kites. Also, The Elanus Kites are the ‘Hovering Kites’ and Milvine Kites are ‘Soaring Kites’.

There are several species of Kites found across the country. Out of the four species found in India, here, I will talk about 3 of them:-

1. Black Kite

2. Black-Shouldered Kite

3. Brahminy Kite

The Black Kite is the most common among them and is found everywhere in cities, towns, forests, gardens etc. People in towns and cities call it the Eagle which is totally wrong. The Eagles are much bigger than Kites, also, the Black Kite has a forked tail which is not seen in an Eagle. 

The Black-Shouldered Kite is a medium-sized Kite which prefers more open and silent suburbs of a city. They are rarely spotted in cities and overcrowded neighborhoods and mostly seen sitting at the overhead wires at the edge of open fields. 

The Brahminy Kite is quite common in S India, especially Goa, but is a rare sighting in N India. 

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