Red kite – (Milvus milvus)

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The red kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers.

Two subspecies are recognised:

  • M. m. milvus (Linnaeus, 1758) – Europe and northwest Africa to the Middle East
  • M. m. fasciicauda Hartert, 1914 – Cape Verde Islands

The subspecies M. m. fasciicauda is almost certainly extinct.

The following figures (mostly estimates) have been collated from various sources. They cover most of the countries in which red kites are believed to have bred.

CountryYearPairsTrendNotes
 AlbaniaUn­knownBred 1906
 Algeria0Un­knownBred in the 19th century, now extinct
 Austria20000–2DecreaseExtinct 1950, recolonised 1970s; 10 pairs 1990
 Belarus19971Un­knownExtinct 1950s, recolonised 1985; 10 pairs 1990
 Belgiumc.199550–60IncreaseDeclined to 1–3 pairs early 1970s, then recovery
 Bosnia and Herzegovina0Un­known
 Bulgaria0Un­knownMay breed but no proof
 Canary Islands0SteadyExtinct 1970s
 Cape Verde20001?Decrease50–75 pairs late 1980s; effectively extinct
 Croatia0Un­known2–5 pairs 1980s
 Czech Republic2013165-185IncreaseExtinct late 19th century, recolonised 1975
 Denmark2021300-350[58]IncreaseExtinct c.1920, then recolonised (from Sweden) 1970s
 England2011c.2000IncreaseExtinct 1870s, reintroduced 1989–1992, recovering
 Estonia1989<1Un­known
 Francelate 2000sc.3000Decrease2300–2900 pairs 1980s
 Germanylate 2000sc.12000Decrease15000–25000 pairs 1980s
 Greece0Un­known
 Hungaryc.19981+Decrease30 pairs 1950s
 Ireland20107IncreaseFirst successful breeding reported in 2010 following reintroduction in 2007
 Italyc.2002300–400Un­known70–150 pairs late 1980s
 Latvia19920–50IncreaseExtinct 1964, then recolonised
 Lithuania19881–2IncreaseExtinct, then recolonised 1981
 Luxembourg201590Increase
 Moldova19901Un­known
 Montenegro19950Un­known
 Moroccoc.199210–100DecreaseIn danger of extinction
 Netherlandsc.1998<5IncreaseExtinct 1852, recolonised 1976
 Northern Ireland20105IncreaseFirst successful breeding reported in 2010 following reintroduction in 2008
 North Macedonia0Un­known
 Norway19800SteadyBred occasionally in the 19th century
 Polandc.1998650–700Increase400–450 pairs 1980s
 Portugalc.1995100–200Un­known
 Romania199515–20Un­known
 Russia19920–50Un­known
 Scotland2009135IncreaseExtinct 1886, reintroduced 1989–1992
 SerbiaUn­known
 Slovakia199210–20Un­known
 Spainlate 2000sc.2200Decrease10,000 pairs 1977
 Sweden20201900-2200[59]IncreaseIncrease from 400 pairs in 1993
  Switzerland2013-20162800-3500IncreaseDeclined 19th century, later recovery; 235–300 pairs in the late 1980s, 800-1000 pairs in 1995.
 Tunisia0Un­knownBred in the 19th century, now extinct
 Turkey0Un­knownMay have bred in past but no proof
 Ukraine19905–8Decrease
 Wales2009c.1000IncreaseDeclined to 2 pairs in the 1930s, then recovery

Only few observation near the Danube Delta.

photo: Mihai BACIU

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