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Is this a red kite? Northwest Turkey. (1 Viewer)

cduruk

Active member
Turkey
In Northwest Turkey, the geographically European part of Turkey, this bird was migrating with several black kites towards Bulgaria. Do you think this photo qualifies to define it as a red kite? The date is this month, April 2022. Thanks in advance.
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Helllo,

I agree with Sangahyando and Richard, its a Black Kite. Please note, that "eastern forms" of Black Kite are warmer and paler coloured and have a more prominent white/whitish window on inner primaries.
More,tail seems slightly to short for many Red Kites.

There are some threads here on BF with interesting comments about this topic.
 

cduruk

Active member
Turkey
Many thanks to all the contributors. I also read the other "long" forum thread, which was also opened by a Turkish birdwatcher. I hope I am not mistaken by deriving the conclusion that there is not a consensus on "what makes a red kite a red kite," a definitive characteristic that we should seek. In this case, it seems natural to me to classify this under the more common bird in the related geography, that being the black kite. Best regards to all...
 

tconzemi

Tom
Supporter
Europe
I hope I am not mistaken by deriving the conclusion that there is not a consensus on "what makes a red kite a red kite," a definitive characteristic that we should seek. Best regards to all...
That is an all wrong conclusion. This bird is defenitely a Black Kite and there are many ID features to separate both kites, several well visible here: uppertail colour completely wrong for RK, breast markings all wrong for RK; wing formula (numbers of fingers), barring of white wing window, barring of tail feathers, colour of vent not visible here but all very good and definitive characteristics you should look for
 

cduruk

Active member
Turkey
That is the wrong conclusion. This bird is definitely a black kite, and there are many ID features to separate both kites, several of which are well visible here: RK's uppertail colour is completely wrong for RK, breast markings are all wrong for RK, wing formula (numbers of fingers), barring of white wing window, barring of tail feathers, and colour of vent are not visible here, but all very good and definitive characteristics you should look for
I need to clarify. What I tried to say was: Leaving this bird out of scope for the moment, I wanted to learn if there are any characteristics that all the black kites have, while none of the red kites have. And vice versa. If there had been a consensus on this, the other forum should not have lasted that long. At least this is what I thought. I cannot object to any of your comments on distinguishing the two species; they are all very welcome...
 

Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
As Tom has said and pointed out in details, there are those characteristics that fit for the vast majority of birds.

But there are some birds which just seem to fall in between and may cause discussion for individual birds. As far as I understand, there are some more eastern black kites that can look a bit more than red kites in some traits, than the western black kites that live in the same region as red kites.

Additionally hybridisation occurs in black x red kite, which, though not common, is responsible for fertile hybrids that can pair with either parent species and produce offspring. Therefore I think there can be individual birds where no consensus is reached .

But your bird is a black kite for me also ...
 

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