About 50-69 cm long (wings around 150 cm), brown
plumage. Usually soars high in circles gliding
among thermals. The forked tail is flexed and
twisted in flight. It gives an occasional long
drawn out squealing call.
Resident. The commonest raptor in Hong
Kong. Usually seen circling above the urban areas.
A group of several hundred can be found at dusk
or dawn around Magazine Gap Road in Mid-Levels
on Hong Kong Island.
Often glides high in the sky singly or
in groups. Feeds on refuse, fishes and dead animals.
Photo: Cheung Ho Fai