We're often asked how long red kites live for, so here's one 'grand old lady' who is still going strong and is now locally quite famous. Pictured recently she is Orange/Red7, a female tagged by Project Leader and now head of Yorkshire Red Kites, Doug Simpson MBE. This makes her one of the oldest Yorkshire birds we can currently identify.
She was raised in a nest at Harewood in 2003 by the pair which had raised the first Yorkshire bred young kites for more than a century in 2000. She was tagged on 07/06/03 and was not recorded again until located in East Yorkshire on 11/03/05. She was in the company of Orange/Red 23, a bird of Chilterns origin which had formed part of the last Yorkshire release in 2003, he having been released at Harewood on 04/07/03. He had been fitted with a transmitter which enabled him to be tracked down to his chosen East Yorkshire location.
She has successfully bred each year since, though her current mate is untagged – we having lost track of O/R23. Having raised 2 young in the last breeding season, O/R7 has now produced in excess of 20 youngsters. Some record!
We should add that up to 2006 some Yorkshire kites at known nest sites had wing tags and also leg rings fitted at the same time, so that if and when birds are unfortunately found injured or sadly dead, importantly YRK are still able to identify them by the ring number. So it's always important to report injured or dead Red Kites.
We'd like to encourage kite watchers to look out for O/R7 and let us know via our 'Contact Us' section on the website where and when she was seen.
We would also appreciate any other sightings of tagged kites that are seen in East Yorkshire.
Tagged kites previously seen in East Yorkshire include:
- White/White 'Q' a 2011 bird from the Midlands.
- Blue/Red 4V a 2010 bird from North Scotland
- Pink (that has faded and now appears as White)/Yellow18 a 2004 bird from Gateshead
- Orange/Green10 a 2006 male bird from an East Yorkshire nest
- Pink/PinkC5 a 2009 bird from Gateshead