2015 Breeding Season

The 2015 breeding season confirmed the continued expansion of the population with new pairs being recorded in a number of areas. Circumstances outside the control of Yorkshire Red Kites prevented the monitoring of breeding pairs in one area. The overall figures for the season, as shown in the table below, include an estimate of the figures from that area based on the number of pairs recorded there previously and the breeding performance of those pairs which were actually monitored elsewhere this year.

This estimate leaves us just one successful pair short of the landmark 100 figure. However, there were undoubtedly other pairs which were not traced and we can safely assume that we now have well into three figures of 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). Figures for 2014 shown in brackets.








Les McLean Harewood

"Harewood Pair" by Les McLean

Nature conservationist receives prestigious award

We are delighted to see that a much valued associate of Yorkshire Red Kites, Stephen Martin has been recognised for his sterling efforts in making North Cave Wetlands a top venue for birders in East Yorkshire.


Stephen told us:   "I was thrilled to hear that we were selected for the award, but wanted to ensure it recognised the partnership consisting of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, local volunteers, Humberside Aggregates and more recently Middlemarch Environmental and their staff; the partnership that has so successfully created North Cave Wetlands. I was delighted that the efforts of us all have been recognised by this honour."


Storm Damage

Sadly the recent stormy weather has had devastating effect on some nest sites with the loss of a two-week old chick in North Leeds. Unfortunately it's probably too late for the parents to try again this year, this usually only happens if the eggs are lost at a fairly early stage.

ruined nest

Orange/Red 7

Orange Red 7 at the communal roostOrange Red 7 March 14Orange Red 7 in Oct  14

We're often asked how long red kites live for, so here's one 'grand old lady' who is still going strong and is now locally quite famous. Pictured recently she is Orange/Red7, a female tagged by Project Leader and now head of Yorkshire Red Kites, Doug Simpson MBE. This makes her one of the oldest Yorkshire birds we can currently identify.

She was raised in a nest at Harewood in 2003 by the pair which had raised the first Yorkshire bred young kites for more than a century in 2000. She was tagged on 07/06/03 and was not recorded again until located in East Yorkshire on 11/03/05. She was in the company of Orange/Red 23, a bird of Chilterns origin which had formed part of the last Yorkshire release in 2003, he having been released at Harewood on 04/07/03. He had been fitted with a transmitter which enabled him to be tracked down to his chosen East Yorkshire location.

She has successfully bred each year since, though her current mate is untagged – we having lost track of O/R23. Having raised 2 young in the last breeding season, O/R7 has now produced in excess of 20 youngsters. Some record!

We should add that up to 2006 some Yorkshire kites at known nest sites had wing tags and also leg rings fitted at the same time, so that if and when birds are unfortunately found injured or sadly dead, importantly YRK are still able to identify them by the ring number. So it's always important to report injured or dead Red Kites.

We'd like to encourage kite watchers to look out for O/R7 and let us know via our 'Contact Us' section on the website where and when she was seen.

We would also appreciate any other sightings of tagged kites that are seen in East Yorkshire.

Tagged kites previously seen in East Yorkshire include:

  • White/White 'Q' a 2011 bird from the Midlands.
  • Blue/Red 4V a 2010 bird from North Scotland
  • Pink (that has faded and now appears as White)/Yellow18 a 2004 bird from Gateshead
  • Orange/Green10 a 2006 male bird from an East Yorkshire nest
  • Pink/PinkC5 a 2009 bird from Gateshead

The road from extinction - Yorkshire Ridings Magazine

October 2014 - Red kites1x1

The road from extinction

Samantha Woodman of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust tells the success story of the county's red kites to the Yorkshire Ridings Magazine

Red kites are a truly magnificent sight for any wildlife enthusiast; with a wingspan of 1.5 metres they are not only one of the UK's largest birds, but also one of the rarest and most beautiful. Red kites have had a rollercoaster ride over the last several centuries, going from being protected and valued as 'street cleaners' in medieval times, to being persecuted to complete extinction in England and Scotland by the end of the 19th century. Now, however, thanks to a group of dedicated conservation organisations and volunteers they have been reintroduced to sites across the UK and are making a steady come back. There are now over 2,000 pairs breeding in the UK with more than 100 of these pairs established in the heart of Yorkshire. Importantly, the growing UK population represents approximately 10% of the world's population of this majestic bird.