Black-eared Kite


Black-eared Kite (Milvus migrans lineatus)

The Black-eared Kite or the Large Indian Kite, a migratory bird is a sub species of the Black Kite. Mostly found in Central and East Asia, South to the Himalayas and North to the Indochina.

Where could you find them in Kolkata?

It visits the Indian subcontinent in the winters; you can spot them in Central Park, Dankuni grasslands, and Rabindra Sarobar in Kolkata. Although the last time I spotted a Black-eared Kite in Central Park was back in the year 2015.

When should you photograph the Black-eared Kite?

Afternoons are usually considered as the best time to capture the Black-eared Kite through your lenses. It is not difficult to spot them but identifying them is often difficult and is mistaken with black kite.  I would suggest you to carry a field guide on Raptors of India.

Photographing the Black-eared Kite, characteristics, breeding and the necessary details:

The bird possesses a brownish body, wings with black edges, looking arched in flight. The beak has yellow base and ending with black. Their forked tail makes them easily distinguishable from hawks and vultures. The Black-eared Kites have a prominent broad white patch under their wings and the blackish ear patch extended from their lore ,which is distinguishes it from the Black Kites.

On being a whistling raptor the bird is an opportunist hunter and has been known to take on small birds, bats and rodents.

The Black-eared Kites nests in forest trees, often close to other kites. During winter, many Kites roost together. In India, their breeding season begins in winter.

Black-eared Kite call: kweee, weeeee wee wee we

I photographed the Black-eared Kite in 2015 at Central Park because it is hardly visible in this area. At that time I was blessed enough to spot three such birds. That was the last time I spotted the bird at Central Park. When I took the shot, the bird was just getting ready to take off from its roost.  Under broad daylight, they are not easily visible; hence afternoon time is recommended to shoot the bird.



  • The birds is difficult to spot at one go so patience is required
  • it is suggested to carry a field guide on raptors of india to make the spotting easy
  • black eared kite , is a rare species in this area.
  • a min of 400mm prime , 300mm prime , 150-600mm is required to photograph this bird


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