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Kites in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand earlier today. (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Dear Members and Bird Watchers!

Just back home from bird watching in Nakhon Nayok and there was many Kites that I reported in eBird as Black Kites. I wanted to study the birds as they are flying exactly the same as the Red Kites I have seen in Sweden. And I enjoy watching them when they turn and twist their bodies.

And today there was a lot of them, 50 ++They took of from sitting in the grass when I got out of the car and the sky turned black with kites.

Anyway, I discover that there are Black Kites and Black-eared Kites and I go back to have a look at my pictures again and most of them seems to be Black Eared Kites. See attached pictures "be" to "be5"

The reason for me to change, the bluish face and lighter head. Also more white in the wings according to my book. In my book both have a blackish patch behind the ear, but the BLACK KITE have darker head and less light (bluish) in the face.

Last two pictures bk and bk2, and I ID these birds as Black Kited because of the dark head and face.

Any thoughts about my IDs?

And there were at least 50 kites, and I reported them as 50 Black Kites. If my second try to ID them is correct, how to report them, I have no clue on how many of each there was. And do the Black Kite and the Black Eared Kite hunt together?

Kind Regards and Happy Birding


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About the best paper around to understand the topic
Agree with Butty
The eastern subspecies of Black Kite lineatus is often called Black-eared Kite - so it is not exactly the same thing. I agree that the Subalpinebirding article is good, but it does not discuss subspecies govinda, often called Indian Kite, and that is the other taxon occurring in SE Asia.

I think that all of these photos show more likely lineatus. For example, the last shows quite extensive pale primary patch, and seems to be streaked on body like an adult lineatus, and not too reddish-brown. Generally, the wing patches are important, as is the streaking on the underbody, both in adults and first-year birds, paleness of the rear parts of underbody, and bare part colouration - the legs of govinda are typically rather bright yellow already in first-year, while lineatus keeps quite dull yellow colour to old age, and most (but not all) govinda have pale eyes as adult. The primary moult stage may also be better for lineatus, but I do not know too much about the moult of SE Asian govinda, only assuming that it is similar to Indian birds. It is also important to age bird correctly - separating lineatus and govinda is not too easy and it would be good to have several photos of the same individual from different angles.
Thank you Butty, tconzemi and jalid, highly appreciated. I have reported them as Black Kites.

I have three books:
- Craig Robson: Birds of Thailand, Only have one Black Kite
-นกเมืองไทย, have Black Kite but two different morphs, dark and light
- Uthai Treesucorn & Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij: Birds of Thailand, have two different Black Kites. Black Kite, Migrans and Black-eared Kite, Lineatus

This taxonomy is a little confusing for me, with different name for the same bird. But I have experienced this before, I say one name and my Guide have a total different name for the bird

Thanks again!


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