Red kites seen flying over Leeds city centre

From a report on the BBC News website -

It is now 11 years since the process of reintroducing Red Kites into Yorkshire began at Harewood in 1999.

The birds are being seen on an increasingly regular and widespread basis, even in urban Leeds, a sure sign that the programme has been successful.

Red Kites are large birds with a distinctive forked tail.

The project officer Doug Simpson said: "The programme got off to a cracking start with successful breeding in the first 12 months and never looked back."

Doug has been involved since the start of the release at Harewood when 69 young birds were released between 1999 and 2003.

Read more: Red kites seen flying over Leeds city centre

Harry Witts Orange/Red 7 Drawing March 2012



Harry Is Good With Numbers!


Eleven year old Harry Witts a junior member of the YWT together with his younger sister Ella is an active member of the Cottingham Wildlife Watch Group. On a recent visit to an East Yorkshire red kite roost with the CWWG Harry, and other group members spotted coming into roost one of the few red kites left in East Yorkshire to have retained it’s wing tags. Seeing a tagged kite always adds interest for everyone. So much so Harry decided to record the event by drawing the tagged bird. The bird identified as Orange/Red7 fledged from a nest at Harewood in 2003 turned up in East Yorkshire where it was first recorded nesting in 2005, and has remained ever since






Drawing of Orange/Red7 by Harry Witts Aged 11.



Red kite chicks found poisoned near Ilkley

From the Ilkley Gazette 21st April 2011

Rare red kite chicks found dead in a nest near Ilkley have been confirmed as the latest victims of illegal poisoning in North Yorkshire.

Two of three young birds of prey found in a nest in the Denton area, north of the River Wharfe, last year, died after ingesting pesticide Carbofuran, a laboratory has now confirmed.

This brings the total number of Yorkshire-related red kite deaths blamed on the illegal placing of poisoned baits in open countryside to 20.

Click here to read the full article

Red kites flying high more than a decade on

From the Yorkshire Post 30th April 2010

It is 11 years since the magnificent red kite returned to Yorkshire's skies. Roger Ratcliffe meets the man who has masterminded the project.

"That one there . . ." Doug Simpson points to a large russet-red bird with a silvery grey head that is perched on the branch of a Scots pine.

Through his telescope it's seen to be sporting a wing tag with the numeral "1", and Doug's voice takes on an affectionate tone, as if he has unexpectedly bumped into a member of his family. "That was the very first Red Kite chick raised from a nest here, way back in 2000."

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East Yorkshire Bulletin (4) added 10th Sep 2010


Bulletin No. 4 September 2010. This bulletin complements the Yorkshire Red Kites Newsletter Issue 12 now available here

With the 2010 breeding season at an end we are pleased to be able to report 7 known successful breeding pairs in East Yorks. Whilst this is an increase from 5 successful breeding pairs in 2009 we are able to remain upbeat with regards to the birds progress in the region. We are able to say this with confidence as this year’s figure alone does not reflect what we perceive to be the overall picture. Several tangible factors have made nest site monitoring more difficult this year, just the same as last year, there being an unexplainable trend throughout Yorkshire for a number of established pairs to ‘up sticks’ and move to new nest sites.

Read more: East Yorkshire Bulletin (4) added 10th Sep 2010