Although feeding red kites isn’t illegal, I hope that people who currently do so in the Chilterns will take heed of these concerns, and consider stopping or at least reducing their feeding. More about red kites in the Chilterns AONB.
What can you feed kites?
For small birds the risk is very low since red kites feed mostly on dead animals. They do also feed on live prey, but mostly earthworms plus the odd young gull, young crow or small rodent.
Are the red kite a protected species?
It was saved from national extinction by one of the world’s longest-running protection programmes. It has now been successfully re-introduced to England and Scotland. Red kites are listed under Schedule 1 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Why do people feed red kites?
People who feed these birds are encouraging them to breed at higher densities than they would otherwise do if supplementary food were not offered, leading to an unsustainably large population of kites in areas where they are being fed, and a public perception that there are ‘too many’ of them.
Are red kites protected in UK?
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Listed as Near Threatened on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
What can I feed a red kite?
Red kites eat mainly dead animals that they are able to find (carrion) – their feet are too weak to kill any prey much bigger than a small rabbit. They will also feed on chicks, small mammals and invertebrates such as beetles and earthworms.
Could a red kite pick up a cat?
It would be unusual, but not at all unheard of. Red Kites prey on rabbits, so it is entirely possible one would try for a cat. There was a story in the UK recently about an extremely bold Red Kite that kept going after a Pomeranian with its owner right there.
Is a Red Kite bigger than a buzzard?
The Common Buzzard is rather compact with broad wings and a short neck, and is slightly smaller than the Red Kite. It can appear almost wholly cream / buff but is mostly brown with an obvious wing pattern looking from beneath. However, plumage varies enormously in Common Buzzards from very pale through to very dark.
How rare is a Red Kite?
By 1996, at least 37 pairs were breeding in southern England. Today, there are more than 10,000 red kites across Britain. … “In a few short decades we have taken a species from the brink of extinction to the UK being home to almost 10% of the entire world population.
How high can red kites fly?
A red kite can fly to a height of 2,600 ft (800 m).
Do red kites ever land?
Red Kites are scavengers, drifting around on their long, buoyant, wings looking for food items on the ground. … If the food item is too large to carry off, they may land on the ground – but they are very wary and will generally wait until crows have fed on it first, as though making sure that it’s not a trap!
Why do red kites whistle?
Red Kites are mainly scavengers, living on carrion, scraps even earthworms. They may take small prey like mice or voles. Apart from seeing these large birds in the sky you will often be attracted to them by their whistling call.
Do red kites live in groups?
Outside the breeding season the kite is habitually a gregarious species and can be found in communal night time roosts at favoured locations.
What does seeing a red kite mean?
Among the most famous of these birds is the Red Kite (a type of hawk), which is considered by many to be the Welsh national bird. … The bird represents the survival of a national identity, an identity that holds significance for all in its sight.
What are the current threats to red kites?
The main threats they face are illegal poisoning by bait left out for foxes and crows, secondary poisoning by rodenticides, and collisions with power cables. These problems are continually being addressed to reduce their impact on the kites.
Should you feed red kites RSPB?
Red kites can survive well in the Chilterns without artificial feeding, so it is not necessary to supplement their diet. … The Chilterns Conservation Board urges the public not to feed red kites.