Black Kite Milvus migrans in Slovenia – its distribution, phenology, breeding and habitat

  • 1 Oddelek za gozdarstvo in obnovljive gozdne vire, Biotehniška fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani, SI-1000, Ljubljana

Abstract

Between 1984 and 2017, 1,388 Black Kites were recorded, mostly in lowlands with 70% of observations made at Dravsko polje. They were observed from sea level to around 1,600 m a.s.l. with an average elevation of 271 m a.s.l. The species was present in Slovenia from mid-March to early December with indistinct spring and autumn migrations. The highest number of observations was recorded in May. The Black Kite was observed in 71 out of 238 10x10 km grid squares in Slovenia (29.8%), with more observations around known breeding sites and at sites with higher observer effort. Both the number of observations and the number of probable and confirmed breeding pairs increased. In 2011–2018, 10 breeding pairs were found at 7 sites (3–7 per year). Additionally, 11 probable breeding pairs at 9 sites (0–6 pairs per year) were found. The breeding population in 2011–2018 is estimated at 10–21 pairs with an average breeding density of 0.3–0.9 breeding pairs per 100 km2. The highest density was recorded at Dravsko polje with 0.6–2.2 breeding pairs per 100 km2. If possible breeding (breeding attempts) were also taken into consideration, the estimate would be up to five breeding pairs higher. The species was recorded at known breeding sites in most years after the breeding was confirmed. Black Kites were observed closer to larger water bodies and to rubbish tips than expected by chance. More Black Kites were recorded in areas with a lower percentage of forest and arable land and a higher percentage of meadows, settlements and wetlands.

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