Yellow-billed Kite (Milvus aegyptius)

Yellow-billed Kite

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Milvus aegyptius | [authority] J.F.Gmelin 1788 | [UK] Yellow-billed Kite | [FR] Milan d’Afrique | [DE] Schwarzmilan-aegyptius | [ES] | [NL] Geelsnavelwouw


Monotypic species


Milvus is a genus of medium-sized birds of prey. It is an Old World group consisting of three kites which form part of the subfamily Milvinae. Its systematics are under revision; it contains 3 or 4 species.

Physical charateristics

As suggested by its name, the Yellow-billed Kite is easily recognized by its entirely yellow bill, unlike that of the Black Kite (which is present in Africa as a visitor during the North Hemisphere winter). However, immature Yellow-billed Kites resemble the corresponding age of the Black Kite.

Listen to the sound of Yellow-billed Kite

[audio: Kite.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 125 cm wingspan max.: 135 cm
size min.: 50 cm size max.: 55 cm
incubation min.: 26 days incubation max.: 38 days
fledging min.: 42 days fledging max.: 50 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 4  


Africa : widespread


Ubiquitous, occuring from semi-desert, grassland and savanna to woodland, but avoids dense forest
Commonly aquatic habitats, rivers, lakes, wetlands,seashores and nearby in meadows and along margins of wetlands. Often linked with man to greater or lesser degree.


In temperate zones of Eurasia,Mar-Jun, in tropical Africa, normally in dry season, in S Africa, aug-Dec, in Australia, mainly Jul- Nov.
Solitay or loosely colonial, nests in trees, building nest in fork or on branch or on wide side branch, also on cliff ledges, locally along coast. platform of sticks which often includes rags or plastic, paper, dung or skin.
2-3 eggs, incubation 26-38 days, normally by female almost exclusively, if male brings sufficient food, female may not hunt during entire breeding attempt.

Feeding habits

Essentially carrion and small or medium sized mammals and birds, also fish, lizards, amphibians and invertebrates can be important locally or seasonally.
Diet varies according to local availability, with proportionally more prey captured during breeding.
More unusually, vegetable matter, particularly oil palm fruits.
Catches prey on ground or water, large insects caught in air, and then eaten on wing. Often forages around margins of waterbodies, and by refuse dumps, slaughterouses or roads, where looks for animals knocked down by traffic.

Video Yellow-billed Kite


copyright: BushcampCo


Not yet recognized by Birdlife
Yellow-billed Kite status Least Concern


M. aegyptius mainly resident, although appears South to Kenya and Tanzania outside breeding season.

Distribution map

Yellow-billed Kite distribution range map

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