Yorkshire’s oldest confirmed breeding Red Kite

In 2019 we have been monitoring a newly built nest in East Yorkshire, in a wood where we’ve been observing breeding red kites since 2001. Earlier in the breeding season we observed a kite sitting on this nest and, as in previous years, almost as soon as we approached the location, we had a second adult kite flying above us.
On this occasion the adult kite flew and perched close enough for us to see - through high powered optics - that it had a leg ring on its right leg and we were able to read some of the digits.
DM Male 16.06.14. lost his original mate early April
From our records we’ve established that this kite is the same male that first arrived at this East Yorkshire location in 2000 from the release programme at Harewood. During the 1999 release programme he was wing-tagged Orange/Black17, but these wing tags have fallen off in the subsequent years. This makes him 20 years old and from our records we know he has been one of a partnership (where he has had at least two partners) that has successfully raised 36 young and this number could increase this year. He is also very special because, in 2001, he was one of the birds that gave us the first confirmed record of breeding red kites in East Yorkshire for 150 years.
DM male still going strong in 2013
All our monitoring activities are carried out with the landowner’s permission and under a permit from the British Trust for Ornithology. It is important to note that we keep the frequency and duration of our visits to an absolute minimum.
Both images by Mike Booth.
Any images taken during monitoring within the breeding season are for monitoring purposes only and kept to a minimum in strict accordance with the BTO permit.