Red Kites Enjoy A Renaissance
Experts believe the red kite, hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century, is experiencing a renaissance in 21st century Britain. Apparently, this is thanks to the build-up of rubbish in city streets! Red kites are natural scavengers and the easy availability of rubbish has allowed them to flourish once again. Up to 60 red kites have been spotted living atop a multistorey car park in Reading, Berkshire, allegedly watching for roadkill to feed on! In the 1960s there were only a handful of breeding pairs of red kites, all in mid-Wales, but now there are thought to be around 1,800 across the United Kingdom. Unlike many other birds of prey such as kestrels or hawks, red kites prefer to feed on prey that is already dead – its easier for them after all – which is why they can often be found in cities, making the most of the 24-hour convenience culture.