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Black Kite Milvus migrans

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2010 Least Concern
2008 Not Recognised
2004 Not Recognised
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 65,800,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 46,700,000
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1000000-6000000 poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 64,000-100,000 breeding pairs, equating to 192,000-300,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 5-24% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,000,000-6,000,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
Trend justification: Despite being possibly the most common raptor in the world, the population has declined owing to poisoning, shooting, pollution of water and over-use of pesticides. Modernisation of urban environments and agricultural improvements are also thought to be causing declines locally (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). However, in Europe, trends since 1982 show that populations have undergone a moderate increase (p<0.05), based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant Yes      
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant   Yes    
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Armenia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Australia Native Extant       Yes
Austria Native Extant Yes      
Azerbaijan Native Extant       Yes
Bahrain Native Extant        
Bangladesh Native Extant       Yes
Belarus Native Extant Yes      
Belgium Native Extant Yes      
Benin Native Extant       Yes
Bhutan Native Extant       Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Botswana Native Extant       Yes
Brunei Native Extant       Yes
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant       Yes
Burundi Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Native Extant       Yes
Cameroon Native Extant       Yes
Cape Verde Native Extant       Yes
Central African Republic Native Extant       Yes
Chad Native Extant       Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant       Yes
Comoros Native Extant       Yes
Congo Native Extant       Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Croatia Native Extant Yes      
Czech Republic Native Extant Yes      
Denmark Native Extant     Yes  
Djibouti Native Extant       Yes
Egypt Native Extant       Yes
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Eritrea Native Extant       Yes
Estonia Native Extant Yes      
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes
Finland Native Extant Yes      
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gabon Native Extant       Yes
Gambia Native Extant       Yes
Georgia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Germany Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Ghana Native Extant       Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant     Yes  
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Hungary Native Extant Yes      
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant       Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant     Yes Yes
Iraq Native Extant     Yes Yes
Ireland Vagrant Extant        
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Italy Native Extant     Yes Yes
Japan Native Extant       Yes
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Kuwait Native Extant        
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Laos Native Extant       Yes
Latvia Native Extant Yes      
Lebanon Native Extant        
Lesotho Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Native Extant       Yes
Libya Native Extant       Yes
Liechtenstein Native Extant Yes      
Lithuania Native Extant Yes      
Luxembourg Native Extant Yes      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant Yes      
Madagascar Native Extant       Yes
Malawi Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Malta Native Extant     Yes  
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Mayotte (to France) Native Extant       Yes
Moldova Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Morocco Native Extant       Yes
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Myanmar Native Extant       Yes
Namibia Native Extant       Yes
Nepal Native Extant       Yes
Netherlands Native Extant Yes      
Niger Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
North Korea Native Extant       Yes
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Vagrant Extant        
Oman Native Extant        
Pakistan Native Extant       Yes
Palau Native Extant   Yes    
Papua New Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Philippines Native Extant       Yes
Poland Native Extant Yes      
Portugal Native Extant Yes      
Qatar Native Extant     Yes  
Romania Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Rwanda Native Extant       Yes
São Tomé e Príncipe Native Extant       Yes
Saudi Arabia Native Extant Yes      
Senegal Native Extant        
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Seychelles Vagrant Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant       Yes
Singapore Native Extant       Yes
Slovakia Native Extant Yes      
Slovenia Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
South Korea Native Extant       Yes
South Sudan Native Extant Yes Yes    
Spain Native Extant     Yes Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant       Yes
Sudan Native Extant Yes Yes    
Swaziland Native Extant       Yes
Sweden Native Extant Yes      
Switzerland Native Extant Yes      
Syria Native Extant Yes      
Taiwan (China) Native Extant       Yes
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Thailand Native Extant       Yes
Timor-Leste Native Extant       Yes
Togo Native Extant       Yes
Tunisia Native Extant Yes      
Turkey Native Extant     Yes Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Uganda Native Extant       Yes
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant     Yes  
United Kingdom Vagrant Extant        
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) Vagrant Extant        
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Vietnam Native Extant       Yes
Western Sahara Native Extant       Yes
Yemen Native Extant Yes      
Zambia Native Extant       Yes
Zimbabwe Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Austria Delta of the Rhine site factsheet
Austria Lobau site factsheet
Austria March/Thaya riverine forest site factsheet
Austria Riede in the northern Rhein valley site factsheet
Austria Riverine forests in the Tullnerfeld site factsheet
Austria Riverine forests on the Danube east of Vienna site factsheet
Belgium Sinémurienne site factsheet
Bulgaria Derventski Heights site factsheet
Bulgaria Harsovska Reka site factsheet
Bulgaria Lomovete site factsheet
Bulgaria Ludogorie site factsheet
Bulgaria Madzharovo site factsheet
Bulgaria Sakar site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Strandzha site factsheet
Croatia Alluvial forests from Podravska Slatina to Vuka site factsheet
Croatia Danube and Drava rivers' lowland areas site factsheet
Croatia Lower Sava river site factsheet
Croatia Turopolje site factsheet
Czech Republic Confluence of the Morava (March) and Dyje (Thaya) rivers - Tvrdonicko site factsheet
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort site factsheet
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton site factsheet
France Barrage d'Artix et Saligue du Gave de Pau site factsheet
France Barthes de l'Adour site factsheet
France Basse Vallée de la Durance site factsheet
France Basse Vallée du Doubs : Dole Sud site factsheet
France Bassigny site factsheet
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin site factsheet
France Bassin du Drugeon: Pontarlier-Frasne site factsheet
France Brenne centrale site factsheet
France Brenne Sud site factsheet
France Côte Médocaine: dunes boisées et dépressions humides site factsheet
France Crau site factsheet
France Estuaire de la Gironde : marais de la rive nord site factsheet
France Estuaire de la Gironde : marais du Nord Médoc site factsheet
France Etangs d'Argonne site factsheet
France Etangs de la Woëvre: la Chaussée site factsheet
France Etangs de la Woëvre: lac de Madine site factsheet
France Etangs Montpellierains site factsheet
France Forêt de Chaux site factsheet
France Forêt de Saou site factsheet
France Forêt domaniale de la Harth site factsheet
France Garonne : marais de Bordeaux site factsheet
France Gorges de la Dordogne site factsheet
France Gorges de la Truyère site factsheet
France Gorges du Gardon site factsheet
France Haut Val d'Allier site factsheet
France Hautes garrigues du Montpellierais site factsheet
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant site factsheet
France Lac de Grand-Lieu site factsheet
France Lac du Der-Chantecoq et étangs latéraux site factsheet
France Lacs de la Forêt d'Orient site factsheet
France Marais de Brière site factsheet
France Marais et estuaire de la Seudre site factsheet
France Marais et forêt d'Olonne site factsheet
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon site factsheet
France Moyenne Vallée de la Durance site factsheet
France Parc National des Ecrins site factsheet
France Petite Camargue fluvio-lacustre site factsheet
France Petite Camargue laguno-marine site factsheet
France Plaine du Forez site factsheet
France Plateau Ardennais site factsheet
France Plateau de l'Arbois, garrigues de Lancon et chaîne des Côtes site factsheet
France Plateaux de Millevaches et de Gentioux site factsheet
France Pointe de Grave site factsheet
France Ried de Colmar et Sélestat site factsheet
France Val d'Allier : Saint-Yorre-Joze site factsheet
France Val d'Allier Bourbonnais site factsheet
France Val de Drôme: Les Ramières-printegarde site factsheet
France Val de Saône site factsheet
France Vallée de la Charente et de la Seugne (Cabariot-Pons/St-Sever-de-Saintonge) site factsheet
France Vallée de la Durance : de Tallard à Sisteron site factsheet
France Vallée de la Garonne : Boussens à Carbonne site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : gorges de la Loire site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : Orléanais site factsheet
France Vallée de la Saône de Corre à Broye site factsheet
France Vallée du Rhin : Marckolsheim à Strasbourg site factsheet
France Vallée du Rhin : Strasbourg à Lauterbourg site factsheet
France Vallée du Rhin : Village-neuf à Biescheim site factsheet
Hungary Béda–Karapancsa site factsheet
Hungary Bodrogzug–Taktaköz site factsheet
Hungary Gemenc site factsheet
Hungary Inner Somogy site factsheet
Hungary Szigetköz site factsheet
Italy Agri Valley site factsheet
Italy Grigne site factsheet
Italy Lake Bolsena site factsheet
Italy Litorale Romano site factsheet
Italy Maiella, Pizzi and Frentani mountains site factsheet
Italy Manferrara forest site factsheet
Italy Marchesato and River Neto site factsheet
Italy Middle valley of Tagliamento river site factsheet
Italy Picentini mountains site factsheet
Italy River Biferno site factsheet
Italy River Mincio and Bosco Fontana site factsheet
Italy River Sele middle valley site factsheet
Lithuania Asveja Regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Initial area of Aukstaitija NP site factsheet
Lithuania Kauno Marios water reservoir & eastern coastal zone site factsheet
Lithuania Labanoras Regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit site factsheet
Lithuania The part of the Grazute RP site factsheet
Luxembourg Region of Junglinster site factsheet
Luxembourg Region of Mompach, Manternach, Bech and Osweiler site factsheet
Luxembourg Region of Schuttrange, Canach, Lenningen and Gostingen site factsheet
Luxembourg Region of the Middle Lias site factsheet
Luxembourg Valley of the Attert site factsheet
Poland Augustów forest site factsheet
Poland Drawa River Site site factsheet
Poland Forest at Gwda River site factsheet
Poland Lower Odra river valley site factsheet
Poland Lower Silesia Forests site factsheet
Poland Middle Odra River Valley site factsheet
Poland Notec Forest site factsheet
Poland Oak-hornbeam forests in the Odra valley site factsheet
Poland Pisz forest site factsheet
Poland Szczecin lagoon site factsheet
Poland Witnica-Debno Site site factsheet
Portugal Arraiolos site factsheet
Portugal Cabeção site factsheet
Portugal Castro Verde plains site factsheet
Portugal Côa valley site factsheet
Portugal Évora plains site factsheet
Portugal Mourão, Moura e Barrancos site factsheet
Portugal Paul de Arzila site factsheet
Portugal Paul do Boquilobo site factsheet
Portugal Paul do Taipal site factsheet
Portugal River Guadiana site factsheet
Portugal Sabôr and Maçãs site factsheet
Portugal Serra de Penha Garcia e Campina de Toulões site factsheet
Portugal Upper River Tejo site factsheet
Romania Aliman - Adamclisi site factsheet
Romania Allah Bair - Capidava site factsheet
Romania Babadag wood site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Dobrogei gorge site factsheet
Romania Dunăre - Canarale - Hârşova site factsheet
Romania Dunăre - Ostroave site factsheet
Romania Dunărea Veche (Braţul Măcin) site factsheet
Romania Hagieni forest site factsheet
Romania Lunca Turului Inferior site factsheet
Slovakia Medzibodrozie site factsheet
Slovakia Morava site factsheet
Slovakia Puste Ulany-Zelenec site factsheet
Slovakia River Danube flood-plain site factsheet
Slovenia Črete site factsheet
Slovenia Spodnja Sava site factsheet
Spain Alcántara reservoir-Cuatro Lugares site factsheet
Spain Alcubierre and Sigena mountain ranges site factsheet
Spain Castronuño-Zamora site factsheet
Spain Cortados del Jarama site factsheet
Spain Gredos and Candelario mountain ranges site factsheet
Spain Guadalquivir marshes site factsheet
Spain Jerez de los Caballeros dehesas site factsheet
Spain Low Tietar river and La Vera valley site factsheet
Spain Lower course of the river Matarraña-Ribarroja site factsheet
Spain Middle section of river Guadalquivir reservoirs site factsheet
Spain River Cega-Tierra de Pinares-Cantalejo site factsheet
Spain San Mauricio-Bohí-Beret site factsheet
Spain San Pedro mountain range site factsheet
Spain Tierra de Campos steppes site factsheet
Spain Zuera mountains site factsheet
Switzerland 'Grosses Moos' plain and Niederried reservoir site factsheet
Switzerland Jura mountains of Baselland - Solothurn site factsheet
Switzerland La Brévine and Les Ponts-de-Martel site factsheet
Switzerland Lake Neuchâtel: southern shore site factsheet
Switzerland Lowlands of Zurich and lower valley of the river Thur site factsheet
Switzerland Mont Tendre site factsheet
Turkey Sarıyar Reservoir site factsheet
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches suitable non-breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Tidepools suitable non-breeding
Savanna Dry suitable breeding
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4900 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 5300 m

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Milvus migrans. Downloaded from on 05/05/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 05/05/2015.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Boddaert, 1783)
Population size 1000000-6000000 mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 65,800,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species