Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura)


French: Bondrée à queue carrée German: Schopfmilan Spanish: Milano colicuadrado

Milvus isurus


, 1838,

New South Wales, Australia




Australia: few breeding areas known, mainly in E & SW, but also occupying N in non-breeding season.

Descriptive notes

50–56 cm; 501–680 g; wingspan 131–146 cm. Slender, small-headed, long-winged hawk superficially resembling Milvus milvus, but with square or... read more


Most calls possess yelping quality, but only likely to be heard around nest, and it is mainly... read more


Open sclerophyll forest, woodland and edge (especially eucalyptus and angophora), less often... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly small birds, and particularly their eggs and nestlings; often honeyeaters (Meliphagidae) and other passerines that build nests in... read more


Annual breeder; season Jul–Dec overall, but season mainly Jun–Dec in NE Australia and Sept–Jan in S Australia. Solitary,... read more


Spring breeding migrant in S, non-breeding migrant to N Australia in dry season (austral winter);... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. This highly specialized raptor is uncommon and declining, subject to habitat clearance and illegal egg collecting in its S... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).