Red Kites’ big comeback

by Richard on April 28, 2011

From the BBC: Almost extinct Red Kite makes comeback

The RSPB is celebrating the “remarkable” comeback of the Red Kite, a bird which had almost become extinct in Britain.

For more than 400 years the bird of prey was killed as vermin and by the 1960s there were just 20 pairs.

But the organisation’s 2011 Big Garden Birdwatch survey recorded as many as 2,000 breeding pairs, an increase of over 130% since last year.

Its return began in the 1990s with re-introductions in several areas.

At the turn of the 20th century it was extinct in England and Scotland with just a handful of breeding pairs in the Welsh valleys.

It’s true that the kites have been a remarkable success story. Driving through mid-Wales, or up the M40 in England, pretty well guarantees you a sighting of these magnificent birds. In fact, many of the birds of prey seem to be doing well. It’s nice to have a bit of good environmental news.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1

David Bunce 04.29.11 at 7:57 am

When I’m back at home in Oxfordshire, it’s rare we don’t have at least seven or eight of them visible in the air at any given time!

2

Richard 04.29.11 at 9:00 am

And aren’t they a stirring site sight?!

3

Kim 04.29.11 at 9:24 am

site? DH’s orthographical illness is obviously contagious. ;)

4

Richard 04.29.11 at 9:30 am

If the buses were running this morning, I’d go out and hurl myself under one of them in penance. (Saved by the royal wedding!)

5

Kim 04.29.11 at 9:45 am

Interestingly, I’ve got a wedding rehearsal at 11:00! On Sunday, at the ceremony, I shall thank Kate and Billy for today’s warm-up act.

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