Red Kites

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - OUTDOORS - SYLVIA THOMP­SON

Prob­a­bly the most beau­ti­ful and grace­ful bird of prey, red kites were ex­tinct in Ire­land for a long time and have only re­cently been rein­tro­duced. Be­tween 2007 and 2011, al­most 160 Welsh red kite chicks were re­leased in Wick­low and Dublin. In 2017 more than 80 pairs of kites were recorded, and they pro­duced more than 60 young. About 20 pairs of kites were also recorded in Co Down as part of the Royal So­ci­ety for the Pro­tec­tion of Birds rein­tro­duc­tion pro­gramme.

Writ­ing about Ire­land’s win­ter birds on this page, Paddy Wood­worth has said that one of Ire­land’s great win­ter bird spec­ta­cles now of­ten oc­curs over Avoca vil­lage one hour be­fore sun­set. There, a dozen or so red kites weave around each other in so­cial flight dis­plays be­fore roost­ing for the night, cre­at­ing a won­der­ful sight in the evening light. Red kites can also be seen in other parts of Wick­low,Wex­ford and north Co Dublin.

If you see a red kite, you can email red­kite@gold­e­nea­gle.ie.

One of Ire­land’s great bird spec­ta­cles of­ten oc­curs over Avoca vil­lage an hour be­fore sun­set

Red kites were ex­tinct in Ire­land and have only re­cently been rein­tro­duced

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