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Author Topic: Red and black kites  (Read 10410 times)


  • Joined Aug 2011
Red and black kites
« on: September 13, 2011, 08:14:30 am »
Hi - we live in SW France (Charente) and up until now have been able to see about 100+ red and black kites at a time feeding on waste food.  Their numbers have recently diminished rapidly and I presume they have departed for warmer climes.  Hopefully a few will remain.  Any one know where they all go?  Beautiful birds and to see so many at a time is glorious - and before anyone comments that they are buzzards they are not.  We do see equally large amounts of these and also gosshawks.  France is certainly one place to see loads of birds of prey - owls of all sorts etc. 

Miss Piggy

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion
Re: Red and black kites
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 09:09:11 am »
Not an expert but I do know that black kite are migratory and spend the winter in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. The red kite does move south from the northern most parts of its territory i.e Sweden, north Germany but will over winter in European countries such as France, Italy, Spain and the UK included.
Such beautiful birds, we have alot here in West Wales... Red kite that is.  :thumbsup:


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Red and black kites
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 09:47:29 am »
Oh what wonderful displays you must see  8)  Many years ago we lived in Anglesey at a time when there were few red kites, so it was wonderful when we did see them.  I have never seen them feeding en masse other than on film.  Lucky both of you  :thumbsup:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Red and black kites
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 09:50:07 am »
Argaty Estate at Doune has a Red Kite project. Best time to go is between November and March - I've been once and there muct have been 50 birds. Very impressive indeed.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Red and black kites
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 06:35:57 pm »
The 'original' red kite reintroduction project was based around the delightfully named Christmas Common, near High Wycombe.  I lived nearby for a year or so and can tell anyone who wants to know some top kite-viewing spots.  When I left, about 7 years ago, I think they said that had about 150 breeding pairs.  They are visible in numbers from the M40 north-west of High Wycombe pretty much any time!

They are much bigger than buzzards but make a very similar noise and the two species don't seem to cohabit much - so it's hard to compare what you are seeing.  The definitive feature is the forked tail; a buzzard's tail is a convex fan whereas a red kite's is highly and angularly convex - really very forked.

I missed them enormously when I left the area.  I love buzzards but there was something really special about the red kites.
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Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


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