Red Kite

Red Kite

"Scarlet (Adult Female) & Patsy (Juvenile Female)"

Scarlet is learning to fly in the open countryside and getting quite good at it. Before she came to us she spent a lot of time in a garden and didn’t really know how to fly like a kite. Every day she is learning to get higher and higher. She regularly gets joined by the wild kites that live nearby, hopefully she’ll get as good as them one day.

Patsy is part of our fabulous team of Kites. She has learnt the ropes quickly and is already wowing guests. She is still in training to join our display team ready to impress with her amazing flying skills.

Red Kite Facts

Milvus milvus

TERRITORY/LOCATION

The red kite is almost entirely restricted to Europe. In Britain it is present throughout the year, whilst the majority of birds in central Europe move south to spend the winter in Iberia.

HABITAT

Red kites inhabit broadleaf woodlands, valleys and wetland edges.

DIET

The red kite's diet consists mainly of small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, young hares and rabbits. It feeds on a wide variety of carrion including sheep carcasses and dead game birds. Live birds are also taken and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Earthworms form an important part of the diet, especially in spring.

NESTING

The nest is made of twigs and lined with grass or other vegetation and sheep’s wool, breeding season from March - April. Between 1 - 4 eggs.

SIZE/WEIGHT

60 to 70cm long, males weigh 800–1,200g and females 1,000–1,600g with a 175–195cm wingspan and long forked tail.

LIFE EXPECTANCY

18 years average age in the wild

25 years oldest recorded in the wild

38 years oldest recorded in captivity

DID YOU KNOW?

As scavengers, red kites are particularly susceptible to poisoning. Illegal poison baits set for foxes or crows are indiscriminate and kill protected birds and other animals. There have also been a number of incidents of red kites and other raptors being targeted by wildlife criminals. According to a report by the Welsh Kite Trust, the UK is the only country in which the red kite population is increasing. Red kites are decreasing in their strongholds of Spain, France and Germany, they remained protected in England and Wales for the next 100 years as they kept the streets free of carrion and rotting food.


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