YRK Newsletter (17)


Newsletter – Issue (17)

The 2015 breeding season was the sixteenth since the reintroduction of Red Kites to Yorkshire began in 1999. Several pairs were located at new locations, though we were unable to undertake a full survey of all known nesting sites. The table below includes estimated figures for the locations which it was not possible to check. The overall figures are very encouraging and, allowing for other pairs which have undoubtedly gone undetected, it is highly likely that we now have more than 100 successful breeding pairs in the county.






West Yorkshire

65   (63)

61  (61)

54  (53)

102  (93)

North Yorkshire

44   (40)

40  (37)

36  (31)

  68  (63)

East Yorkshire

         14    (9)

          11   (8)

            9   (7)

  16  (15)


        123 (112)

        112 (106)

99 (91)

186 (171)

Average young raised per successful pair = 1.88 (1.86).

Two occupied nests are known to have been destroyed in storms, resulting in the death of the young. Two other nests failed, the likely causes being disturbance caused by woodland management activity close to the nest and inquisitive trespassers, respectively. On a lighter note, the kite’s habit of collecting soft toys to decorate their nests was witnessed at one North Yorkshire nest, below which a toy rabbit and cat were found.

The illegal use of poisoned baits in the open countryside continues. The deaths of a Red Kite and a Common Buzzard caused by carbofuran in different areas of North Yorkshire in 2015 suggest that this banned insecticide is still being widely abused. Appendix 2 of the RSPB’s report, Birdcrime 2014, (http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/birdcrime_2014_tcm9-410409.pdf) shows that the number (36) of reported incidents involving birds of prey in North Yorkshire far exceeded that in any other area. Details of recommended action if a wildlife offence is suspected can be found on our website  at www.yorkshireredkites.net – where there’s also lots of other information about kites. Suspected poisoning incidents involving either wildlife or domestic animals are investigated by the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) and you may wish to add their Freephone number, 0800 321600, to the contacts list on your mobile phone – just in case!

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 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, veterinary practices and members of the public who have assisted in any way in 2015. The ongoing financial support from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for Red Kite monitoring work is very much appreciated.