One of Britain's best wildlife spectacles!
|HISTORY OF THE RED KITE
The Red Kite was named the 'Bird of the Century' by the British Trust for Ornithology at the end of 1999, because of its determined fight back from the brink of extinction.
Once a common sight in towns and cities all over the UK, in the 16th Century a series of Government Acts declared that the kite was vermin, and so it was decided that the Red Kite should be killed throughout Wales and England.
Such persecution continued until, at the end of the 18th Century, increasing numbers of gamekeepers were employed on country estates. They killed many more birds, and by the late 18th Century Red Kites had bred for the last time in England. In Scotland they suffered a similar fate.
Only in rural Mid Wales, specifically the Tywi and Cothi valleys, did the Red Kite hang on, its numbers down to just a few pairs.
Luckily at that point, some local landowners had the foresight to set up an unofficial protection programme to try to safeguard this beautiful bird.
Over a period of around 100 years, efforts to maintain the fragile breeding population were made by committed generations of landowners, rural communities dedicated individuals and organisations, specifically the Welsh Kite Trust and the RSPB.
Thanks to these people, and despite severe threats, Red Kite numbers are now gradually increasing. Today there are over 300 pairs in Wales, and the kite has been sighted in all Welsh counties.
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