The Distressed Black Kite

One evening, from my house in Bangalore, I saw a juvenile black kite perched on the clothes stand of a neighboring balcony. It was screeching out loud and that is how I noticed it.


Juvenile stuck in the balcony

It just wasn’t brave enough to fly out. Its distressed parents were circling above, calling and hoping to coax it out. One of them even scooped down towards the balcony but it did not make a difference. Then the night fell and all the commotion stopped. The little one remained stuck there overnight.

The next morning, it again started to screech seemingly asking for help. This time, one of its parents came and perched on a ledge one floor above the balcony where the little bird was and started to call out loudly.


Parent keeping a watch on the stuck juvenile

This still did not help. So the parent came down to the railing of that very balcony.


Parent perched on the railing

But instead of flying out, the baby dropped down to the floor of the balcony. The poor parent kept waiting and screeching and this went on till evening.


The juvenile Black kite dropped down to the floor of the balcony

Now a whole 24 hours had passed and our bird was still stuck.

What happened next was amazing. An entire flock of black kites, perhaps brought in by the other parent, descended on that balcony and they all gently nudged the young one out, much to my relief.


_dsc0206The Black Kite is a bird of prey with a strong hooked and pointed black beak. The base of the beak is yellow. Overall, it is dark brown with black edges to the wings and tail. Its yellow feet have sharp black claws. The underside is lighter brown, the deep set eyes are black. The feathers on the back have lighter, almost white edges. The juvenile is similar, but has a darker brown shade and has a spotty appearance. The underside appears streaked.

You can identify a flying black kite by its forked tail.


There is no threat to this bird in India. Their numbers have increased manifold and it is the most commonly found bird of prey in India.


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