By jane_bakowski | Posted: January 15, 2017
Strong signs that red kites, which died out in England almost 150 years ago, are breeding in Kent have been welcomed by the RSPB.
Reports of sightings of the dazzling bird, unmistakeable with its forked tail and angled red wings tipped with black, are pouring in from all over the county . Although unable to confirm that there are breeding sites in Kent, spokesman Tim Webb said: "The county does have the right habitats and conditions so it's amazing the birds haven't spread sooner from their stronghold in the Chilterns."
Hunted down as "vermin" for many years, red kites were declared extinct in England in 1871. A few survived in remote parts of Wales, but even by the 1960s, by now protected, numbers were tiny.
Since being re-introduced to various parts of the UK, however, red kites have begun to thrive. No longer on the endangered species list, the large, graceful birds of prey are frequently spotted soaring above the M4 motorway. They are also often seen in the Midlands and North. However it has taken them some years to reach Kent, which is why birdwatchers are so excited.
"I saw one above my house in Paddock Wood the other day," said gardener Trevor Davies. "It was a wonderful sight, it is s