Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Red Kites in gardens

Melanie Orros, a student at the University of Reading, got in touch to ask our Garden BirdWatchers if they have Red Kites visiting their gardens. Specifically, Melanie wanted to hear from those participants who actually put out food for visiting Red Kites. We checked our database and found 483 GBW gardens for which we had online submissions of Red Kite. Quite a few of these records would be of birds passing over the garden, rather than taking food but it does highlight how well this species is now doing.

Red Kite, by Jill Pakenham

Melanie has produced a short web-based questionnaire. If you could spare five minutes to fill it in then that would be really helpful. Melanie has kindly offered to write a piece for Bird Table about her findings.

Red Kite is one of those species that falls into the grey area of whether to record or not within the rules of Garden BirdWatch. You could argue that a hunting/scavenging Red Kite is looking for opportunities in your garden, even if it does not land and this is why some participants record them. The important thing is for you to be consistent in your approach from one week to the next. It will be interesting to discover just how many folk are putting out food and getting them land in the garden.

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