Will red kite become our national bird?
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.
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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