Friday, 20 March 2009

Red kites

Every few days a pair of red kites circle over our house above the gardens and the park next to us. I’ve been trying to take a photograph of them but haven’t yet been successful in catching them close enough. This photo from the internet shows the bird’s red-brown stomach and the fingery feathers at their wing-ends. During the late nineteen century and the twentieth century these birds were brought close to extinction by poisoning but a reintroduction programme began in the 1980s. By 2003 there were around 625-675 breeding pairs in Britain. They have probably come into the edges of this urban area from the nearby Chilterns. The birds have an impressively majestic flight and are an encouraging reminder of the success of recent conservation efforts. 

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