In detail

The Red Kite - Wanted Poster


Surname: Red kite
Other namesRed kite, forked consecration, consecration
Latin name: Milvus milvus
class: Birds
size: Max. 70cm
mass: about 1kg
Older: 5 - 10 years
Appearance: red-brown breast plumage
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Rodents such as mice and rats, field hamsters, songbirds, fish
distribution: Europe
original origin: Central Europe
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: open fields as a hunting ground
natural enemies: Eagle owl, hawk
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: March April
breeding season: 30 - 34 days
clutch size: 2 - 4 eggs
social behavior: group building
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the red kite

  • The red kite or Milvus milvus describes a bird of prey, which is counted among the hawk-like.
  • It is widespread in much of Europe, where it is rarely found today. Most breeding pairs live in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France and Switzerland.
  • The red kite populates oak, beech or mixed forests with nearby open landscapes, agricultural land and extensive parks and forest edges.
  • With a body length of a maximum of 70 centimeters and a wingspan of about 140 centimeters, the red kite is about the size of a raven.
  • The red kite owes its name to the reddish-brown plumage on its back and its striking rusty red, bifurcated and relatively long tail.
  • The head stands out clearly from the rest of the body through the whitish to light gray skull.
  • The red kite can be clearly recognized by its gliding flight, which makes it seem almost weightless.
  • From the air, the red kite spies its prey, which consists primarily of field hamsters and mice, but also of smaller birds such as blackbirds, pigeons or jackdaws and fish. Occasionally he also eats carrion and looks in dumps for rats and usable leftovers.
  • The red kite makes its hornet in trees, often at a height of up to twenty meters. The nest has a diameter of about a meter and is lined with all sorts of materials such as scraps of paper and plastic remnants.
  • The female lays in April up to three, rarely even four eggs, which are incubated for about a month.
  • The young birds stay in the nest for six to eight weeks, but after leaving the nest they live with their parents for a few weeks in a family unit.
  • All birds native to Central Europe moved to their winter quarters in southern Spain, Portugal or North Africa. Today, the red kite overwinters frequently in its breeding areas.
  • The use of pesticides and rodenticides resulted in a sharp decline in rodents, which are the main food source for red kite. The Europe-wide stock is today estimated at 25,000 breeding pairs, which is why the species is considered to be in serious danger.
  • Food shortages, poisoning and accidents caused by power lines are responsible for the high rate of death among the juveniles.
  • The life expectancy of the red kite is about five to ten years, but it has also been reported by specimens that were significantly older.