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    Red kite increase weathers storm in Scotland

    NewsBirds of Prey NewsThursday 17 November 2011
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    UK

    Numbers of one of Scotland's rarest birds of prey, the red kite, have increased this year despite violent storms in May and illegal poisoning.
     
    Red kites became extinct in Scotland in the Victorian era.
    But a reintroduction programme began in 1989 and the number of fledglings has reached a record high.
     
    A report from RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage said there were now 186 breeding pairs of red kites, an increase of 22 on last year.
     
    A total of 314 young birds fledged.
    But the storms which swept across the country in May meant many nests and eggs were lost, especially in central Scotland.
     
    Duncan Orr-Ewing, RSPB Scotland's head of species and land management, said: "The wind came at a critical time of the breeding cycle, when the eggs were on the point of hatching or there were small young in the nests.

    Andrew Stevenson, Scottish Natural Heritage's ornithological adviser for the red kite project, said: "It is great news that red kite numbers have increased again in Scotland this year, with the population showing resilience to the exceptionally poor spring weather."

    Source: BBC News

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