First published Wednesday 3 September 2014 in News
Last updated 18:25 Wednesday 3 September 2014
by Pete Hughes, Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington.
BIRD watchers have been asked to stop feeding Red Kites because the creatures have become too successful in Oxfordshire.
Snatching fledglings out of nests, chasing smaller birds for food and hovering in an “intimidating” way over homes and gardens, conservation groups have said the once-rare species may have become reliant on food left out by its admirers.
Hunted almost to extinction by farmers and poisoned by pesticides, the Red Kite was brought back from the brink of extinction when 93 were introduced into the Chilterns in 1989.
The Chilterns Conservation Board now estimates there are 1,000 breeding pairs in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
But the board and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) say they are receiving a growing number of calls from worried residents about the large raptors swooping down on garden bird tables and school playgrounds.