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Introduction ~ The Red Kite ~ Feeder Station Birds 
The Red Kite
The beautifull bird at rest

This most beautiful of British hawks, despite the fact that it was once common in Scotland, England and sometimes Ireland, was once only to be found in Wales. Even here, because of persecution by those in rural area's who should have know better, the population of the bird by the turn of the twentieth century, had been reduced to five breading pairs in the wilderness of the upper reaches of the river Twyi in west Wales.

Thankfully because of the actions of a small group of conservationists back in those early days of the last century, who foresaw that without their intervention it would not survive, the bird has made a remarable recovery. It recovery, abet a slow one, its present day numbers are over a 100 breading pairs. It has thankfully, due to the care and selected breeding management, began to be seen back in some places in England.
Let us hope that soon it will be seen back in all countries of the U.K.

Close overhead High above the Black mountain Riding the thermal

These photographs of the Red Kite high in the sky above the upper reaches of the river Usk near the Powys/Dyfed border were taken by Mr. Brian Taylor, to whom I am extremely grateful.

Rising up out of the valley Being mobbed by a carrion crow Wheeling before the storm

The return of the bird in times of the use of pesticides, sprays and conflict of interest in the countryside, is due in no small way to the efforts of the British Army in Wales. As part of its programme of conservation of the countryside, on its own land the army affords twenty-four hour protection to the bird; a great deterrent to would be egg thieves for army training areas are not places to be during 'live' firing. May the Army long continue in its efforts, for only time will tell if it has guarded both the nests and the young of the bird well.

It was however the RSPB who took over the challenge of protection from those early conservationists and its determined efforts to do so seemed to be paying off. Officers of the organization can be seen everywhere during the months of April and May; the beginning of the bird's breeding season.

So should you visit this country of mine and be using a route through an unpopulated upland valley, stop, listen, see if you can hear a shrill mewing coming from high over head, if you do then it will be easy for you to understand that the bird seems to be a link between those long gone Medieval days and the present ones.

O may the bird continue its slow expansionist programme and eventually return to the glens of Scotland and the flat open moorlands of England, for the sight of this exquisite high flying creature should be the privilege of everyone.

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