We have structured our research inquiry as a comprehensive assessment of the response by Black kites Milvus migrans to an urban gradient within the megacity of Delhi. Thus, the study has a leading theme; the variation of several behavioural, life history, physiological and demographic traits along this steep and juxtaposed urban gradient. The fieldwork is structured to cover the whole gradient as frequently as possible in a very continuous manner, rather than through dual comparisons between urban vs rural sites. We also use cutting-edge GPS-telemetry and last-generation accelerometry to test how kites move and forage within the city, how they select urban sites for foraging and how this varies along the urbanization gradient. Over the longer-term, we will also examine how two Black kite sub-species (the resident Milvus migrans govinda and the migratory Milvus migrans lineatus from central-northern Asia), that co-occur within Delhi during ~October-March, may differentially exploit an urban environment.
Delhi’s Kite Runner: An amateur curiosity that explains effects of unplanned urbanisation
The Economic Times
The Dailymail, UK
Urban areas may seem an easy place to study opportunistic raptors such as kites and kestrels, but researcher Nishant Kumar from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) faces a new hurdle each day in the field.