ID Help - Square-tailed Black Kite?

To: "" <>
Subject: ID Help - Square-tailed Black Kite?
From: Harry Nyström <>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 15:12:35 +0100
Hello again from Finland,

I would like to get a quick confirmation to a bird ID matter. The bird in
question was photographed near Forbes, NSW in January, 2012 by my colleague

He was showing me some photos when we came across with this one he titled a
Square-tailed Kite. I was immediately hit with the impression that the bird
has too short wings and its face and fingers are too dark for a
Square-tailed Kite, although the tail is not clearly notched. I said to him
that I think it is a Black Kite, but he insists otherwise, so we would like
someone local with experience to both species to settle the score.

My question is: Is this only a Black Kite that is moulting it's tail (a so
called "square-tailed" Black Kite) or is this really a Square-tailed Kite?
I noticed that the middle feathers of the tail are very worn (pointy and
long), but the outermost tail feathers seem fresh (shorter, but with a
smooth round tip), which could support my initial reaction to the bird. But
then again, I am happy to admit being wrong if that's the case.

Opinions are well appreciated:


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