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Red Kite with convex tail when fully spread? (1 Viewer)

KenM

Well-known member
Just found this (not a brilliant image however it's the only one) on an old SD card, 12.5.14 N.East London, showing six fingers and a ''convex'' fully spread tail, nevertheless...I assume Red Kite ?

Cheers
 

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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
VERY, worn tail, obviously the outer feathers have lost their full length.

Were this one of the contentious species, that tail would be suggestive of captive origin?
 
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mark clements

New member
Is the 6 finger not a significant pointer to black kite? I was on Cambridge birding about 4 years back and this was a significant ID point made.
H
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
Is the 6 finger not a significant pointer to black kite? I was on Cambridge birding about 4 years back and this was a significant ID point made.
H

it has only 5; the apparent 6th is just looking like a finger since it stands alone with the moult gap adjacent proximally.
and to answer ken's title question: yes, why not, if spread like this tails can look slightly convex in red kite.
 

KenM

Well-known member
it has only 5; the apparent 6th is just looking like a finger since it stands alone with the moult gap adjacent proximally.
and to answer ken's title question: yes, why not, if spread like this tails can look slightly convex in red kite.

Interestingly, the last apparent finger (6th) on the port wing..is surely just that,
as it looks more “primary” than secondary, in as much as it looks very much like part of a “hand”. I’m aware that this is a feature of BK, however I wouldn’t know if it is occasionally seen on RK?

Over the years I’ve seen Black Kite in Israel (many), Cyprus, Isles of Scilly during Spring, and once over the house in mid June, all conforming with one and other, crudely speaking...looking like a dark Marsh Harrier with a shallow notch to the almost closed centre tail. However, I’ve subsequently seen images of claimed Black Kite looking like RK hybrids with rufous to the underbody, is this the result of hybridisation or another form?

Cheers
 

mark clements

New member
Having seen many in the South of France over the years, I would not discount a reddish/brown appearance underneath particularly in late afternoon, with the sun dropping.
The lower wing looks to be a 6th finger to me, but can follow Lou's comment on the upper.
Cant wait for further input, as I may have to revisit my notes!
 

KenM

Well-known member
Having seen many in the South of France over the years, I would not discount a reddish/brown appearance underneath particularly in late afternoon, with the sun dropping.
The lower wing looks to be a 6th finger to me, but can follow Lou's comment on the upper.
Cant wait for further input, as I may have to revisit my notes!

Yes me too, as all the BK’s that I’ve ever seen, have all looked Black, showing no rufous tones...remaining somewhat confused.....:-C
 

mark clements

New member
Yes me too, as all the BK’s that I’ve ever seen, have all looked Black, showing no rufous tones...remaining somewhat confused.....:-C

An image scan on the web is VERY confusing, as there are loads marked as Black Kite that are other types, and a few marked as others that appear to be Black to me...

So I have stopped looking 3:)
 

stevethehydra

Well-known member
My first thought on this pic was wondering if it actually was a Marsh Harrier, having seen a few males that almost completely mimicked Red Kite plumage in all but tail shape... but looking at online photos I think MH with a spread tail would look distinctly more convex (e.g. https://www.birdforum.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=611011 ). So i think this has to be a very worn RK with outer tail feathers perhaps looking shorter due to the wear (and also to me it looks like a straight line more than really "convex").
 

Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
My first thought on this pic was wondering if it actually was a Marsh Harrier, having seen a few males that almost completely mimicked Red Kite plumage in all but tail shape... but looking at online photos I think MH with a spread tail would look distinctly more convex (e.g. https://www.birdforum.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=611011 ). So i think this has to be a very worn RK with outer tail feathers perhaps looking shorter due to the wear (and also to me it looks like a straight line more than really "convex").

It definitely is slightly convex. Put a ruler against it.

Brett
 

KenM

Well-known member
Any good raptor people able to add to this?
Thanks
H

I assume the reluctance to comment “broadly” on these two taxons, is either the ambiguity of the “subject” and/or the perceived “grey area” that might be involved with “non-classic” type individuals?

Cheers
 

CARERY

Well-known member
Not that I'm a raptor expert but I instantly thought Red Kite because of the tail lenght alone. If spread like that the tail of a Black Kite would look even more convex (http://birds-in-flight.net/?p=6343, scroll down to the last image). I found THIS photo of a Red Kite with fully spread tail. Regarding the sixth finger to me this feature especially in combination with moult gaps can be easily misleading.
 

KenM

Well-known member
A good comparative shot Roland, and it’s been quite instructive regarding tail variability....not to mention “fingers”.

Cheers
 

Jhanlon

Well-known member
I have a photo of a black kite from Spain which is very worn and in heavy moult like this bird. It's in a right state and the shape of the tail is not just squared off but nicely rounded. Have seen other shots of funny black kites with still growing outer retrices which can also produce a rounded look (but not the case here) prompting confusion especially with booted eagle.

I'll see if I can post it later. My feeling regarding the bird above is that it's just a worn red kite.
 
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