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Red Kite: Petition to Stop Feeding (1 Viewer)

Jack Dawe

Well-known member
Any views on this petition? It sounds to me that the kites are simply doing what kites do - they used to steal the clothes from washing lines in medieval London - but there may be more to it. How much of a problem is artificial feeding for the birds? Or does this fall into the "seagull stole my chips" category? One thing that did occur to me: if you're baiting rats with poisoned meat where kites can pick it up, pets and children could also pick it up.
https://tinyurl.com/y74ebxws
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Any views on this petition? It sounds to me that the kites are simply doing what kites do - they used to steal the clothes from washing lines in medieval London - but there may be more to it. How much of a problem is artificial feeding for the birds? Or does this fall into the "seagull stole my chips" category? One thing that did occur to me: if you're baiting rats with poisoned meat where kites can pick it up, pets and children could also pick it up.
https://tinyurl.com/y74ebxws

No poison should be anywhere but in proper poison boxes. Kites could be at risk from poisoned rats though I suppose? Certainly I had to pick up some from our back garden the last time our street had an infestation.

IMHO some people will complain about anything, and for that matter anything will cause someone to complain. Neither are a cause for action. BBQ food should not be so unattended that kites will feel free to have a go at it. I absolutely don't believe they will dive at food with people right next to it and I absolutely do believe the complainants will exaggerate (to put it politely) their points to get their way. What is really needed is a petition to tell habitual moaners generally to suck it up.

John
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
IMHO some people will complain about anything, and for that matter anything will cause someone to complain. Neither are a cause for action. BBQ food should not be so unattended that kites will feel free to have a go at it. I absolutely don't believe they will dive at food with people right next to it and I absolutely do believe the complainants will exaggerate (to put it politely) their points to get their way. What is really needed is a petition to tell habitual moaners generally to suck it up.

Unfortunately this would seem to be the case as shown when you reach the bit in the petition about 'birds pooping on cars being unsanitary' ...
 

david kelly

Drive-by Birder
No poison should be anywhere but in proper poison boxes. Kites could be at risk from poisoned rats though I suppose? Certainly I had to pick up some from our back garden the last time our street had an infestation.

IMHO some people will complain about anything, and for that matter anything will cause someone to complain. Neither are a cause for action. BBQ food should not be so unattended that kites will feel free to have a go at it. I absolutely don't believe they will dive at food with people right next to it and I absolutely do believe the complainants will exaggerate (to put it politely) their points to get their way. What is really needed is a petition to tell habitual moaners generally to suck it up.

John

Although not the same species I have had toast taken from my hand by a yellow-billed kite in Zimbabwe. I was not volunteering said toast!

David
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Although not the same species I have had toast taken from my hand by a yellow-billed kite in Zimbabwe. I was not volunteering said toast!

David

Plenty of British Army/RAF legends about "sh***-hawks (Black Kites) stealing in this manner in India as well.

Not to mention what the public are pleased to call "seagulls" ;)

John
 

Jack Dawe

Well-known member
Thank you for the interesting replies and, especially, the Ibis article. Frankly, if as scavengers they replaced the Herring Gulls around here I wouldn't complain, but I guess it's true that calcium deficiency would be a potential problem.
 

jurek

Well-known member
If 1 in 20 families in Reading feeds Red Kites, one could pass a petition forbidding complains about kites.

I heard that feeding foxes is a regular hobby (apparently the main food of urban foxes in England is food specially put out for foxes). I wonder if kite feeding is also regular and how this hobby can be used to further promote bird conservation?
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
If 1 in 20 families in Reading feeds Red Kites, one could pass a petition forbidding complains about kites.

I heard that feeding foxes is a regular hobby (apparently the main food of urban foxes in England is food specially put out for foxes). I wonder if kite feeding is also regular and how this hobby can be used to further promote bird conservation?

Feeding foxes is fairly common and is fairly well tolerated. My own neighbours are happy to have foxes nearby as the brook that runs behind our houses is something of a rodent reservoir and any pressure on their populations is a good thing.

John
 

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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Got to wonder who started the petition - wouldn't be surprised in the least if the real force behind it is shooting estate owners and their gamekeepers. They have past form for trying to blacken the name of raptors in the public eye. I'll certainly not be signing the petition.

Thank you for the interesting replies and, especially, the Ibis article. Frankly, if as scavengers they replaced the Herring Gulls around here I wouldn't complain, but I guess it's true that calcium deficiency would be a potential problem.
Not sure why calcium deficiency could be a problem, if chicken scraps (which will mainly be bones) are one of the main items put out for them? More likely to be problems with vitamins and other nutrients.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Got to wonder who started the petition - wouldn't be surprised in the least if the real force behind it is shooting estate owners and their gamekeepers. They have past form for trying to blacken the name of raptors in the public eye. I'll certainly not be signing the petition.


Not sure why calcium deficiency could be a problem, if chicken scraps (which will mainly be bones) are one of the main items put out for them? More likely to be problems with vitamins and other nutrients.

More likely to be the sort of people who buy a nice house in the country and then moan that cowpats smell and cockerels crow early in the morning. The situation is not helped by the sort of people in customer services of any kind, especially councils, who think a complaint means they have to do something, instead of telling the complainant "thank you for your communication, which we are going to do nothing about because it's nonsense".

John
 

Jack Dawe

Well-known member
The situation is not helped by the sort of people in customer services of any kind, especially councils, who think a complaint means they have to do something, instead of telling the complainant "thank you for your communication, which we are going to do nothing about because it's nonsense".
But, surely, that's precisely what public servants do do? It's a technique cascaded down from MPs who have honed it to a fine art. It's why grouse moor petitions (indeed, virtually all petitions AFAIK) never get anywhere.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
More likely to be the sort of people who buy a nice house in the country and then moan that cowpats smell and cockerels crow early in the morning. The situation is not helped by the sort of people in customer services of any kind, especially councils, who think a complaint means they have to do something, instead of telling the complainant "thank you for your communication, which we are going to do nothing about because it's nonsense".

John

You must know my neighbours - recall comments about combine and harvesting through the night, hedges trimmed regularly with military precision and only specimen shrubs planted, spilled vegetables from trailers not cleaned up, dead pheasants / rabbits.
Why did they leave East London and move to a rural village I occassionally ponder.
We now have regular whistling passes by the local Red Kites, bootiful.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
But, surely, that's precisely what public servants do do? It's a technique cascaded down from MPs who have honed it to a fine art. It's why grouse moor petitions (indeed, virtually all petitions AFAIK) never get anywhere.

Ha, you said do do.... not all public servants ;)

John
 

Edwin Sapatsch

Well-known member
Kites

Wanting to introduce my boys (Then just starting out birding) to their first Red Kites I researched up and we headed out to the village of Ivor near the junction of the M4/M25 hoping to see a few.
On route I explained they were very scarce when I was a boy and only a few were to be found in Wales back then before they became extinct completely in the UK.
Hard to believe when we arrived. There were approx 155 either roosting in the trees or on the wing in a swirling flock.
The farmer was feeding them offal, it was a regular event. We were informed that not everyone in the area was as happy with them as my boys were, apparently they were causing a little havoc, Sea Gull style, around parks and school playgrounds when there were signs of food about and were being seen as a nuisance.

Not clever feeding any wild creature except in the harshest of winters.

As far as feeding Foxes goes, Quote 'brook that runs behind our houses is something of a rodent reservoir' the reason it is a rodent reservoir is because town Foxes no longer hunt. My area of London is plagued by both rodents and foxes, they share the same bins.
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Wanting to introduce my boys (Then just starting out birding) to their first Red Kites I researched up and we headed out to the village of Ivor near the junction of the M4/M25 hoping to see a few.
On route I explained they were very scarce when I was a boy and only a few were to be found in Wales back then before they became extinct completely in the UK.
Hard to believe when we arrived. There were approx 155 either roosting in the trees or on the wing in a swirling flock.
The farmer was feeding them offal, it was a regular event. We were informed that not everyone in the area was as happy with them as my boys were, apparently they were causing a little havoc, Sea Gull style, around parks and school playgrounds when there were signs of food about and were being seen as a nuisance.

Not clever feeding any wild creature except in the harshest of winters.

As far as feeding Foxes goes, Quote 'brook that runs behind our houses is something of a rodent reservoir' the reason it is a rodent reservoir is because town Foxes no longer hunt. My area of London is plagued by both rodents and foxes, they share the same bins.

The rodents undergo the same boom and bust cycles along the brook as they do throughout the land, fox feeding keeps them local during the bust phases but doesn't support them: I assure you ours can be watched hunting.

The Red Kite feeding at Gigrin Farm not only ensures that kites survive to expand what is still a small national population quickly but also adds to the tourist income of an area (a country) with very little other income remaining now that its 19th century industries - coal, steel, wool - are all but dead.

Red Kites never became completely extinct in the UK. If there were problems around playgrounds from humans dropping litter, then perhaps the humans were the problem.

John
 

Edwin Sapatsch

Well-known member
Feeding

I don't believe I stated that they were feeding on dropped scraps or litter...you assume John!...indeed they were harassing people 'Seagull Style' They learn quickly as you must be aware...a bit like the Sea Eagles on Mull that are baited for the cameras...we have had the pleasure of seeing them there going about their wild business as on Skye and several of the outer Hebridean Isles over the course of the last few years. I do not hold with preforming animals in zoo's, there is no great distance between a bear preforming for reward or Sea Eagle waiting for a fish to be thrown off the stern of a boat, but that rarely becomes apparent in final images; but everyone to his own.

Here in the 'Smoke' we see Foxes day and night, they are not in the slightest wary of humans or traffic most are not as beautiful as in your photos, many look Manged and generally ill, but not all. We have plagues of Rats since the Vermin controllers have stopped baiting because of the pandemic, and I have watched the Foxes ignoring them, there are plenty of easy pickings. I am happy they don't hunt, the Rats, full of the slow acting poisons used today would surely see their slow demise; Poisoned Rats are a sickening sight.
 
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Farnboro John

Well-known member
I don't believe I stated that they were feeding on dropped scraps or litter...you assume John!...indeed they were harassing people 'Seagull Style' They learn quickly as you must be aware...a bit like the Sea Eagles on Mull that are baited for the cameras...we have had the pleasure of seeing them there going about their wild business as on Skye and several of the outer Hebridean Isles over the course of the last few years. I do not hold with preforming animals in zoo's, there is no great distance between a bear preforming for reward or Sea Eagle waiting for a fish to be thrown off the stern of a boat, but that rarely becomes apparent in final images; but everyone to his own.

Here in the 'Smoke' we see Foxes day and night, they are not in the slightest wary of humans or traffic most are not as beautiful as in your photos, many look Manged and generally ill, but not all. We have plagues of Rats since the Vermin controllers have stopped baiting because of the pandemic, and I have watched the Foxes ignoring them, there are plenty of easy pickings. I am happy they don't hunt, the Rats, full of the slow acting poisons used today would surely see their slow demise; Poisoned Rats are a sickening sight.

While I accept you did not explicitly mention litter, perhaps you would like to explain just what you meant us to understand by "signs of food"? I'd say there is an enormous difference between a bear performing for rewards in a zoo and a wild White-tailed Eagle going for an easy meal provided by humans: the latter has a choice.

Most of the foxes round here are pretty healthy, RTA being their biggest risk. My dog fox Big Whitey has a permanent limp on his left rear which I'm fairly sure was due to being clipped by a car in his youth. The odd mangy individual doesn't seem to last long.

I'm not sure of the effect of modern rodenticides on other mammal groups (though I certainly wouldn't use them as a garnish) and having had rat infestations in our street due to overfeeding of birds with seed by elderly neighbours, I am now right behind full-spectrum warfare if the little blighters try to settle down in my garden. But I always pick up and bag poisoned rats just in case they are dangerous to other wildlife, or even the cats that undoubtedly bag some of them. It's a grim job if they aren't quite dead. We've had a couple of years free now, touch wood - which is why I am allowed by my wife to moth trap with a window open for the power cable.

All the best

John
 

Edwin Sapatsch

Well-known member
reply

Morning John and All,
Signs of food = Person shovelling food into themselves as seen from the perspective of an airbourne creature that has an eyesight capable of distinguishing a grasshopper at a remarkable distance.

One needs to witness the Wild Sea Eagles in their natural habitat, then in the feeding queue to appreciate their quite apparent domestication, these are amongst the wildest and hardiest of hunters in our Isles. If it were remotely necessary to feed them to aid their survival I would not condem it....however they are fed to preform. Wild animals do not have a choice...they have a strong survival instict to feed

We were lucky enough to have bumped into an old man and his dog who spends 6 months of each year alone in a camper travelling around Scotland and the Hebrides watching the wildlife. Lucky, for in our wild camping explorations over the the last few years we have quite accidently come across him in the most remotest of places. His knowledge introduced us to our first Sea Otters and Sea Eagles, it has been a wealth to us. Since our last meeting we keep in touch. He told me last week that the Whales and Dolphins were known to be displaying signs of 'missing' humans----the tourist with their buckets of fish have not arrived this year and. apparently these majestic 'wild' mammals have begun show withdrawl symptoms. Please be aware that the feeding of the Eagles and Whales is done for no other reason than profit....the otters seem to have stayed aloof to bribery so far as I know...and thus remain a real adventure to track down.

The poisons are pretty evil but sadly necessary. I believe the widly used DDT during my childhood days had a lot to do with the demise of Kites and many other raptor species.

https://homequicks.com/rat-poison-ingredients

Have a good day all

Edwin
 
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