Monday, December 31, 2012

Red Kite?

I can't prove the bird morphed into an "eagle" in the hoax video below was a red kite (Milvus milvus) but I have seen a few in the wild and I think it was. A beautiful bird with remarkable buoyancy and power of flight, a common medieval street scavenger, a most challenging quarry hunted through the high clouds by Gyrs and Sakers (the Craigheads did some of the last of this in pre- Partition India in 1940 and documented it in film and writing), the bird became rare with modern sanitation and persecution, was reintroduced, and is now common again. I saw my first one from a train just north of Marseilles but they are everywhere now.

The other reason confirming my uneasiness with eagle ID (other than long the long narrow crooked wings with light patches and its quite forked but nevertheless kitelike tail (young are not forked)- is that the Francophone hoaxers said it was a "Royal Eagle". Ain't no such bird, but the filmmakers might have known that the kite in the film is known as the "Milan Royal".

Kite images from the Net:

1 comment:

Nathaniel Fitch said...

Hunting pattern is also consistent with Red Kite, I think. If it were a kite, the coloration seems unusual to me, but it's possible it's a morph I'm not familiar with.