The red kite (Milvus milvus) has been described as 'the most beautiful bird of prey in Britain'. The plumage is a wonderful mixture of black, chestnut, grey and reddish-brown and the underwings have an obvious white patch contrasting strongly with jet-black wing-tips. In flight the red kite's most notable feature is the long, deeply forked tail. The wing-tips are strongly 'fingered' and the bird's soaring flight is one of the most graceful sights in the British countryside. Mainly a scavenger, the red kite feeds on animal carrion. A monogamous species, red kites usually pair for life. The red kite decorates its nest with paper, plastic, and other man-made materials, even stealing clothes left out to dry!