YRK Newsletter (18)


Newsletter – Issue (18)

The seventeenth year following the initial release of Red Kites in Yorkshire has been something of a mixed bag. It wasn't possible to check all known breeding sites and the table below shows the confirmed 2016 breeding figures for those sites which were actually monitored. The figures in brackets show the 2015 equivalents for the same territories checked, several of which were unoccupied this year.






West Yorkshire

36 (34)

35 (33)

29 (29)

52 (55)

North Yorkshire

41 (44)

37 (28)

31 (22)

63 (46)

East Yorkshire

  7 (14)

7 (11)

7 (9)

13 (16)


84 (92)

82 (84)

72 (74)

131 (139)

Average young raised per successful pair = 1.82 (1.88)


2016 has seen an unprecedented number of Yorkshire kites falling victim to various forms of human intervention. Confirmed incidents are as follows:


Poisoned bait


Rat Poison

North Yorkshire




West Yorkshire




One of the shot birds recovered and was released. The others were fatalities. A post-mortem examination of one which had been shot whilst sitting on its nest showed that it was just hours away from laying its first egg. One poisoning victim tested positive for no fewer than five primary poisons ingested from an illegal bait. Another was killed by rat poison, our thirteenth confirmed death from this cause. It is highly likely that there were many other victims which were not found. Other confirmed shooting incidents in Yorkshire in 2016 have included Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine Falcon. At least eight of the above victims were discovered by walkers, adding to the many reported in previous years by observant visitors to the countryside.

Anyone finding evidence of a suspected wildlife crime should reported it immediately to the Police on 101, asking to speak to a Wildlife Crime Officer and requesting an incident number.

A much more fortunate young kite was rescued from the very busy A659 at Arthington. It is a minor miracle that it had survived. It was successfully released after being cared for by the finders, followed by a spell in our rehabilitation pen.

Reports of sightings received on the website show that kites are ranging far and wide. Indeed birds seen in the county are not necessarily of Yorkshire origin. Records of a single bird reported from the Beeston, Belle Isle. Morley, Gildersome, Drighlington, Churwell and Tingley area, on the south-eastern outskirts of Leeds, top the list for the most frequently reported individual – assuming that it was the same bird.

Sightings of kites seen to be regularly frequenting new areas are particularly welcome. This helps us to confirm new breeding pairs and monitor the progress of the expanding population. They can be reported through the website at www.yorkshireredkites.net or to one of the following contacts:

Doug Simpson MBE. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nigel Puckrin (East Yorkshire). Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Simon Bassindale (North York Moors). Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks again to the many landowners and their representatives, gamekeepers, farmers, members of the public and, in particular, two veterinary practices who have assisted this year. The ongoing financial support from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for Red Kite monitoring work is very much appreciated.