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Red Kites


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#1 Danny Boy

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

I saw six of them gliding over St Mary's School in Beaconsfield at the weekend. I often see them over Amersham, singularly or in a pair. Locals say there are becoming bolder and sometimes swoop down on the road to investigate discarded food. They are beautiful birds, but i wonder if they will move into the urban environment, similar to foxes.

#2 PeterC

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:23 PM

They have been concentrating over Thame and over the settlements between Chinnor and Benson for many years. I have only ever seen them land on two occasions, once on a field near Burnham Beaches and once on a rooftop in Thame.

Historically they were urban birds and if the food is available I am sure that they will become so again. Give it a couple of years and the red tops will be telling us that they eat pets and are a danger to babies.
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#3 Danny Boy

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:17 PM

Indeed. The Guardian, the home of intellectual snobbery, has already run an article on Red Kites bothering school children in Oxfordshire. I fear they will eventually be regarded as a menace, as they re-discover the benefits of urban waste. I suspect that's what happened centuries earlier.

#4 PeterC

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:11 PM

has already run an article on Red Kites bothering school children in Oxfordshire.

Probably because people have been feeding them. Once carnivores expect humans to feed them they can get quite agressive when food isn't forthcoming. This has been an issue with seagulls in several resorts over the years.

The fault is with the humans not with the animals
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#5 Speedy

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:31 PM

Have a pair that fly over my house daily.

#6 hyposmurf

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:40 PM

Have a pair that fly over my house daily.

Might have been the same pair that we used to watch. :) Had one fly at roof level with my car,whilst going down a country lane to work.Trying to keep my eye on the road was hard.They are amamzing to watch.

#7 Fran

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:52 PM

They are beautiful to watch, though it's a shame their squawk is so ugly.

#8 Elliott

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:54 AM

I quite like their call - reminiscent of more exotic climes.

I agree with PeterC regarding feeding - my friend was quite content to toss out meat scraps until one bird swooped and scared her toddler grand-daughter. The bird meant no ill intent, by the way, and was itself alarmed to find the girl there.

I love to watch them, especially when a group wheels and swoops together.

#9 BucksMike

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

What squawk do Red Kites have? I am sure that they have more a high pitched mew or almost a whistle, Definitely not a squawk

#10 PeterC

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:40 AM

A recording of the call is available on the RSPB web site.

I have never knowingly heard one (and the sound card is broken on this machine) so I am not sure how the call differs from the mewing of a buzzard.
PeterC aka Chilternbirder

#11 Eaton

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:41 AM

What squawk do Red Kites have? I am sure that they have more a high pitched mew or almost a whistle, Definitely not a squawk

I agree, they have a gorgeous whistling call.
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#12 Fran

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:57 PM

A recording of the call is available on the RSPB web site.

Thank you. While not exactly euphonious, it's far pleasanter than the noise I associate with red kites.
I wonder what does make the squawks I sometimes hear?

#13 Danny Boy

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

It is most likely the voice or voices of Rooks, reacting to the presence of the Red Kite.