Red kite (Mil­vus mil­vus) 1,800 pairs, sta­tus green (UK), near threat­ened (Europe, global)

Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

The now fa­mil­iar red kite isn’t shy; in an­cient times, it thrived by liv­ing and scav­eng­ing along­side man in towns. Thanks to rein­tro­duc­tions, which be­gun in 1989, in Eng­land and Scot­land and the nur­tur­ing of a rem­nant pop­u­la­tion in Wales, these mag­nif­i­cent birds— with rus­set plumage, a 5ft 6in wing­span and a long, forked tail—can be seen cir­cling through­out the coun­try.

Red kites prin­ci­pally rely on car­rion, but will also take small birds and mam­mals, worms and in­sects and are no­to­ri­ous for cheek­ily steal­ing ob­jects such as un­der­wear from wash­ing lines for nest build­ing

* All statis­tics cour­tesy of the BTO and RSPB. Num­bers rep­re­sent breed­ing pairs— there are many more ju­ve­niles and non-breed­ers

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