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.

Red Kites on Canvas

Our friend Julie Arme from Acorn Glade Glamping at Melbourne, East Yorkshire https://www.acornglade.co.uk/ is an artist working in Mixed Media and has produced this life size, textured image of a red kite. Julie has suggested that if anyone was interested she would consider selling it.

Contact Julie directly please through the website above.


Read more: Red Kites on Canvas

Who's a lucky bird?

It's nice to be able to tell, what we hope will be a happy ending story.

Our coordinator Doug got a call from Harewood on Wednesday. A kite had been found trapped up against a fence and had been retrieved. Its plumage was in a mess and it had an injury to one wing. It could have been stuck there for several days. Lucky someone noticed it.

Doug took it to Crab Lane Vets in Harrogate - specialists in Red Kite work. They x-rayed it and found no signs of serious damage to the wing. It’s plumage has been cleaned up and it is feeding well. Now in the rehab pen at Harewood - see image below.

On checking the number on its BTO ring Doug found that it was one of the first batch of kites he fetched from the Chilterns in 1999. It’s nearly its 20th birthday. Let's hope it makes it.


The updated story of the female red kite, tagged Orange/Red 7

22 01 18 RedKite OR7

Our original story begins in 2000 at Harewood Estate, West Yorkshire when the first confirmed successful Red Kite breeding in recent times occurred in Yorkshire. It involved an older female, which had been rescued from a cattle drinking trough in the Chilterns and cared for by the Zoological Society of London and a young male of Chilterns origin, released in the Yorkshire reintroduction programme by Doug Simpson MBE at Harewood in 1999.

Read more: The updated story of the female red kite, tagged Orange/Red 7

YRK Newsletter (20)


Newsletter – Issue (20)

Sightings reported from an increasingly wide area show that kites are continuing to explore new locations, though there has still been no confirmation of breeding pairs to the south of Leeds. However, a particularly exciting development is the increase in sightings of kites in the North Nottinghamshire, North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire localities, they having become a regular sight as far north as the Doncaster area. It is likely that these are predominantly kites which have spread northwards from the well-established Midlands population, arising from birds released in Northamptonshire in the mid-1990s. Regular travellers down the A1 may well have witnessed this northerly progression which is following a pattern noted in other Red Kite release areas. Maybe it should come as no surprise that their direction of travel roughly coincides with that of the prevailing wind.

Map. We have a new feature on the website in the form of a map which shows the distribution of reported kite sightings. Currently, only records for 2018 are shown - but we hope to include separate maps for previous years which should show how the population has gradually progressed.

Read more: YRK Newsletter (20)