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Characteristics

Kite in flight Kite in flight (c) Tony Cross
  • Plumage
    Sexes similar. Adult has pale head, chestnut body, tail and upper wings. Wing tips black with white patches under wing. Tail deeply forked.
  • Body Size
    Females on average 5% larger than males
  • Weight
    900-1200g
  • Wing span
    1.6-1.8m

The Red Kite’s striking colours, distinctive shape and graceful flight make it easily an easily recognisable bird. It’s name comes from the fact that the body and inner wings are a deep reddish brown colour. The body colour contrasts strongly with the black and white wing tips and grey head of an adult Kite. In flight the Kites long wings (1.6-1.8m wingspan) and tail are very apparent. The tail, which is also a deep red, is deeply forked separating it clearly from all other Irish birds of prey. The Kite is a very graceful flier, soaring for long periods but also capable of quick acrobatic flight.