Will red kite be­come our na­tional bird?

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

MANY of Bri­tain’s best loved birds are in de­cline and some are even on the verge of ex­tinc­tion.

The red kite used to be one of those birds, but thanks to a re-in­tro­duc­tion pro­gramme in Ox­ford­shire and Buck­ing­hamshire, this beau­ti­ful bird of prey is now a common sight drift­ing over the Chilterns.

So much so that it has made it into the top 10 in the search for Bri­tain’s Na­tional Bird.

buck­snews@ trin­i­tysouth.co.uk ONL

INE

In 1989, a re-in­tro­duc­tion pro­gramme was started, with a num­ber of red kites be­ing re­leased in Ox­ford­shire and Buck­ing­hamshire, as the Chilterns was con­sid­ered an ideal habi­tat for this much per­se­cuted bird.

Twenty-plus years later, the pro­gramme has been such a suc­cess and the bird has be­come so loved that it has, so far, been voted as the 9th most popular bird in Bri­tain – from a start­ing list of 60.

Un­be­liev­ably, Bri­tain has never had a na­tional bird.

Back in the 1960s the robin was named as Bri­tain’s favourite bird, but it was never made of­fi­cial. Can the red kite knock the robin off its perch?

The round one clos­ing date is Novem­ber 30.

The top six will go for­ward to the sec­ond and fi­nal round of vot­ing in spring 2015 when the na­tion will choose Bri­tain’s Na­tional Bird.

The fi­nal vote will run along­side the build-up to the gen­eral elec­tion in May – an al­ter­na­tive elec­tion!

Vot­ers will be able to choose from a short­list of six birds.

The fi­nal win­ner will be an­nounced in May.

You can vote at: http://www. vote­na­tion­al­bird.com/.

Ev­ery­one who votes will get a free dig­i­tal copy of Bri­tain’s big­gest sell­ing wild bird mag­a­zine ‘Bird Watch­ing’ and be en­tered into a draw to win a week bird­ing in Shet­land, cour­tesy of Shet­land Wildlife, a pair of Le­ica Tri­novid binoc­u­lars, sub­scrip­tions to Bird Watch­ing Mag­a­zine and The Ur­ban Birder t-shirts.

DAVID LINDO The Ur­ban Birder

www.get­bucks.co.uk/send-your-story

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