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Pariah Kite

Common name for a bird of prey, with the scientific name Milvus migrans govinda, which is a subspecies of the Black Kite (fig.). Adult birds are dark brown, with a shallow forked tail, while juveniles are streaked whitish-buff from the head to the mantle, as well as on the belly (fig.). This species occurs as a resident throughout the Indian subcontinent, from eastern Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as in mainland Southeast Asia. It is often found in urban areas with a high human population (fig.). One such place is New Delhi, where this subspecies is found in large numbers (fig.). After a survey in 1967, it was claimed that this city is home to about 2,200 pairs. The common name derives from the Indian caste system and its usage is nowadays disapproved of. Hence, it is usually referred to as Small Indian Kite. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.