Kite is a common name for birds of the family Accipitridae. The name is thought to have originated from the bird's high-pitched whistling call. Typically, a kite is lightly built, with a small head, partly bare face, short beak, and long narrow wings and tail. True kites, Milvinae, have rather narrow beaks, the upper mandible being wavy-edged. They are typified by the red kite (Milvus milvus)—of Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East—and the black, or black-eared, kite (M. migrans)—found over much of the Old World. Both are large (to about 55 cm [22 inches]), reddish birds (the black kite darker), lightly streaked on the head, with long, angled wings and notched tail. The Brahminy kite (Haliastur indus; subfamily Milvinae) ranges from India to northeastern Australia. It is red-brown except for white foreparts. It eats fish and garbage. The buzzard kite (Hamirostra melanosternon; subfamily Milvinae) of Australia is a large black-breasted bird; it lives mainly on rabbits and lizards. It also eats emu eggs, reportedly dropping rocks on them to break the thick shells.
See also: Black Kite, Black winged kite, Brahminy Kite, Red Kite, Yellow billed kite