Black Kite


Milvus migrans


A medium-sized raptor, I measure around 60 cm long and have a wingspan of between 135 and 155 cm. I weigh between 650 and 900 g. My distinctive forked tail makes me easy to identify in flight. It is less indented than the tail of my cousin, the red kite.  My plumage is reddish-brown on my body and gray with brown streaks on my head.



I’m a scavenger. I like to soar over freshly-mowed meadows in search of dead micro-mammals.  You may also find me around garbage dumps. Dead fish make up nearly half of my prey so I like to be close to water.


I lay two to three eggs a year in April and my chicks can fly after six weeks. I like to decorate my nest with pieces of plastic, fabric and waste. I often build my nest close to other pairs of kites thereby forming a colony.


I can live up to 23 years.

Where and when can you find me in the reserve?


I live close to wooded habitats because I like to build my nest in tall trees provided they are close to water.

When to spot me

A migratory species, I can be seen in the reserve from mid-March to late September.

Conservation status

  • Red list of nesting birds in metropolitan France: Least Concern (LC).
  • Red list of endangered nesting birds in Alsace: Vulnerable (VU).

Over a hundred species referenced