Temporal variation in feeding habits of the Red Kite during winter in the northern Spanish Plateau.

Authors: SUNYER, C. and VIÑUELA, J.

Published: Volume 41(2), December 1994. Pages 161-167.

Language: Spanish

Original Title: Variación temporal en los hÁbitos alimentarios del Milano Real durante la invernada en la Meseta Norte

Keywords: Milvus milvus, Microtus arvalis, winter, food, distribution and refuse and mule tips.


Feeding habits of the Red Kite during winter were studied in its main wintering ground in Spain, the Northern Plateau, during a year of vole plague (Microtus arvalis). During winter the Red Kite behaves as a generalist, but it feeds mostly on voles when these are abundant (autumn-early winter). It changes to scavenging in refuse tips or on refuse from abattoirs in mid-winter. It is suggested that the recent changes observed in the wintering distribution of the species (De Juana et al., 1988) are due to the irruption of Microtus arvalis in the Northern Plateau since the late seventies. Mule and refuse tipes seem to be important management tools.

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