Friday, 26 April 2013

Red Kite delight

Red Kites are protected by law as a Schedule 1 species. That law says they cannot be disturbed at or near their nest sites. The pictures taken here were of birds feeding from a residential area and no disturbance to any nesting areas was made, in fact I never left the comfort of the car to get these shots as the birds circled above the houses.

Red Kite
Red Kite
Red Kite
Red Kite

Red Kite
Red Kite
The kite was extinct in England and has been the subject of a reintroduction programme in England and Scotland. The birds were brought in from Spain in 1989 and have since established a healthy breeding population with the first breeding success way back in 1992 and it's estimated that there could be over 600 pairs now breeding in the original reintroduction area in the Chilterns as well as populations established in the Midlands, Yorkshire, Gateshead as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The reintroduction programme should I suppose be considered a great success helped by the fact that these birds are scavengers and happy to use residents feeding to support their diet as well as feeding on carrion and the small prey items like worms etc that they take. I think the RSPB would encourage less feeding support locally in the hope that the birds spread out away from the reintroduction areas although I regularly see Kites now in most counties of southern England so I guess they are starting to spread.

I know the countryside is a richer place for having them back in it.

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