Distinctive large, graceful raptor with a fairly long, forked, rusty-orange tail. Flies with easy languid wingbeats and lazy glides, circling gracefully over fields and roadsides. Can be confused with Black Kite; note overall more reddish coloration, paler face, larger white patches on the underwings, and more deeply forked tail. Inhabits varied semiopen habitats, from woodland to farmland and moorland with hedges and wooded patches; locally in urban areas. Often scavenges with crows.
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