Black Kite Portrait

Black Kite perched on a weathered post in the grasslands of Tal Chhappar, Rajasthan, India.

About the Black Kite

The Black Kite (Milvus migrans) is a medium-sized raptor in the family Accipitridae, which includes many other birds of prey such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers.

Black Kites are opportunistic hunters, taking small mammals, birds and reptiles. However they are more commonly seen scavenging and are regularly seen around human settlements taking waste. Kites are easily recognised by their angled wings and distinctive forked tails which are ideal for soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food. 

You can find out more about Black Kites 

About Tal Chhapar:

Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Northwestern Rajasthan on the fringe of the Great Indian Desert; The Thar. This small grassland habitat is surrounded by sparse scrub and dry dusty plains peppered with salt pans. Originally a hunting ground for the Maharaja of Bikaner it was declared a sanctuary in the 1960s.

India’s Grasslands are home to some of its most endangered species, many of which are endemic. This important habitat now only exists in a handful of places in India and is sadly becoming increasingly scarce.

This stunning grassland wasn’t always the paradise seen today. After decades of neglect and encroachment by the nearby salt production the sanctuary was in a sorry state. Thanks to efforts coordinated by Mr. S.S.Poonia, the range forest officer at Tal Chhapar, over the years the grassland has been transformed. After gradually stripping away the invasive plant; Prosopis juliflora a variety of grasses were planted such as Mothiya grass, a favourite of the blackbucks, which derives its name from ‘moti’ meaning pearl, as its sweet seeds look like pearls. The final result is vast swathes of pristine grassland bustling with animal life. 

 

 

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Black Kite perched on a weathered post in the grasslands of Tal Chhappar, Rajasthan, India.

 

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