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Red Kites

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Old Monday 4th February 2008, 22:17   #1
The Glenbuck Laird
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Red Kites

My friend asked me a question today about red kites that I did not know the answer to so I thought I would throw open to the most knowledgable forum on the web.

He saw a red kite today for the first time since last spring on the eastern end of the Chilterns so I suppose just about at the end of the current Chilterns range (unless anybody can correct me on this).

He always sees them at this time of year and can sometimes see a few kites in the sky together. Then he does not see them for the rest of the year.

Does anybody know why they are seen more around the beds/bucks border at this time of year? Is this anything to do with looking for food to feed young.

Any ideas gratefully received.
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Old Tuesday 5th February 2008, 09:13   #2
RobinD
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The Chilterns population is extending its range year on year and birds are now frequently seen in Bedfordshire.

Kites are very conspicuous at this time of year as they range widely to look for food, roost communally and establsh territories. I saw a pair displaying on my way to work this morning.

What time does your friend see the kites? A group in the afternoon will be a roost, a pair in the morning will be setting up a territory. Not seeing them the rest of the year implies that your friend is seeing wandering birds that return to the core area to breed. The Southern England Kite Group www.sekg.org.uk are interested in any sign of range expansion.

ATB

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Old Tuesday 5th February 2008, 20:43   #3
The Glenbuck Laird
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Thanks Robin, I wil pass that message on. He is taking me later in the spring to look for red kites in the chilterns and now looking for tags, colours and numbers is going to be an added incentive for the day.
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Old Tuesday 5th February 2008, 22:14   #4
matthompson
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I got a great view of one on the A14 North Beds this afternoon from the car.
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2008, 10:37   #5
Dave mac
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In the Stokenchurch area of Bucks its possible to see Kites any time, usually lots of them. Its not even necessary to get out of the car, on journeys along the M40 in that area there will usually see a few and I have seen as many as twenty wheeling over the motorway.
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2008, 12:03   #6
RobinD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Glenbuck Laird View Post
Thanks Robin, I wil pass that message on. He is taking me later in the spring to look for red kites in the chilterns and now looking for tags, colours and numbers is going to be an added incentive for the day.
February is the best month for the largest roosts. Try Ibstone Common - I have had about seventy in the air there late afternoon. You will do well to find many birds with wing tags as only a small proportion of young are tagged now. They use the ratio of tagged to untagged young to estimate the years breeding success.

Tags are explained here: http://www.gigrin.co.uk/redkitetags-explained.html

ATB

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Old Tuesday 13th May 2008, 19:59   #7
Helen O
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Can I just expand on the post from Robin regarding seeing groups of kites. Apart from roosts, kites will also congregate at a food source at any time of the year.

With regards the wing tags, black tags are being use this year. As always, yellow is the colour for the Chilterns birds.

Just to add, we are interested in sightings of kites with wing tags rather than sightings of single birds without wing tags.

However, kites can be sighted almost anywhere these days, quite often they are the non breeding birds having a wander, although they generally return close to their natal area when ready to breed, usually in their 2/3rd year.

Last edited by Helen O : Tuesday 13th May 2008 at 20:02.
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