DISTRIBUTION AND HABITS OF KITES, Milvus migrans, Haliastur sphenurus AND H. indus IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Brahminy Kites Hallastur indus are present in the highlands as well as in both northern and southern lowlands. Whistling Kites H. sphenurus are absent from the highlands whilst Black Kites Milvus migrans are inexplicably absent from the southern lowlands. Black Kites have increased in abundance, perhaps replacing Whistling Kites, and have colonized towns, where they feed on the carcasses of the introduced toad Bufo marinus. Whistling Kites in Papua New Guinea possibly frequent aquatic habitats more than they do in Australia. Brahminy Kites occur regularly over rainforest canopies far from open spaces, where they hunt for prey, including birds. This is contrary to their behaviour in other parts of their global distribution.

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