Red Kite Conservation

The Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

The Red Kite almost became extinct in Britain following persecution by gamekeepers especially in Victorian times. A few pairs hung on in central Wales.

In 1987 Kite Wardens in Wales started to bring kite eggs to us for artificial incubation. These eggs were ones that had little chance of survival, such as third eggs or abandoned nests. In the following years we hatched 53 kite chicks for return to the wild. Most went to nests in Wales, but a few went to the first project in England. As a result of these successful manipulations a nationwide re-introduction programme was instituted for the species, with release sites in several parts of the country. Chicks were donated from Sweden and Spain, and ‘recycled’ from some of the earlier successful nesting colonies.

Now you can see kites in most parts of Britain; the project has been a success and we have completed our involvement.

Shakespeare wrote ‘When the Kite builds, look to lesser linen’ because of their habit of stealing underwear off washing lines to line their nests with. So if your knickers go missing, don’t blame us!

Read an article by Dr Nick Fox published in The Falconers & Raptor Conservation Magazine, ‘The Return of the Red Kite – another view’.

For more information about the Red Kite see;

Conservation and Research

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