Newsletter (14) added 17th September 2012


Newsletter – Issue (14)

This Newsletter contains details of the 2012 Yorkshire Red Kite breeding season and news of other developments since the previous edition. More information about the birds and the Project is available on the above website, where there is also a facility for reporting sightings and other information.

Breeding in 2012:

Territorial pairs: Pairs were located at 30 sites at which a presence had not been recorded in 2011. It is likely that these were a combination of new pairs; pairs which had been present but undetected in 2011 and some which had moved from other locations – no fewer than 18 sites occupied in 2011 being vacant in 2012. Overall, 94 territorial pairs were located, an increase on the 2011 figure of 82. Some of these were in new areas and confirmed the ongoing geographical spread and consolidation of the population away from the core area.

Confirmed breeding: 92 breeding pairs were confirmed – 18 more than in 2011. 78 pairs were successful and raised at least 145 young. Several nests failed at the small chick stage, it being likely that the combination of torrential rain and cold nights took their toll. Conversely, young which were well-feathered stood up well to the frequent bouts of heavy rain to which they were subjected. The average young raised per successful pair (1.86) was down on the previous figure (2.10), though the overall results were appreciably better than expected.

One nest failure occurred due to its partial collapse - whilst there were remarkable escapes at two others, they being found in heaps on the ground. There were no remains of young birds underneath them and searches in the surrounding woodland produced sightings of fledged young. In another instance two young were apparently blown from their nest, being found on the ground below. One was dead but the other was alive and well. The fortuitous availability of a ‘cherry-picker’ enabled the live bird to be placed in a safe position in a tree close to the nest site. It survived, as did a third young one which had escaped being blown from the nest.

Read more: Newsletter (14) added 17th September 2012

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."

Click here to read more