As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 18 February 2013

Grizedale's Red kites thriving - Have you seen any?

More than 200 sightings of Grizedale Forest's red kites recorded but public's help more important than ever

February 2013. Red kites released in the Forestry Commission's Grizedale Forest appear to be thriving following more than 200 sightings of the birds in England and Scotland - however help from the public is becoming more crucial than ever.
Photo courtesy of Forestry Commission

Wildlife officers from the Forestry Commission released 90 red kites as part of a three-year reintroduction programme to return the species to North West England - with the final release of 30 birds taking place last summer.

Mull to Hastings
Grizedale's red kites have been spotted as far north as the Isle of Mull, and as far south as Hastings. Many sightings have been made in Dumfries and Galloway, North Yorkshire and throughout Cumbria, particularly around Broughton-in-Furness and Kirkby Moor. It is hoped the birds will return to Grizedale Forest to breed and establish a sustainable population.

Orange tags
The birds carry an orange tag on their left wings to show they are from Grizedale, and one on the right to indicate the year of release - blue for 2010, white for 2011 and red for 2012. A selection also carried radio transmitters to allow officers to monitor their progress. However, some of the transmitters attached to birds released in 2010 are reaching the end of their battery-life so it is becoming increasingly important to record kites through visual sightings.

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