Red Kite Information & FAQ's

1. A Brief History

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Flying above Aston Rowant and the Icknield Way in Oxfordshire
The red kite Milvus milvus disappeared from our skies in England and Scotland at the end of the nineteenth century.

It was in the mid-sixteenth century that their fortunes changed - an Act of Parliament for the Preservation of Grain was passed. Red kites were included in a list of vermin species seen as a threat to food production.

Their elimination was encouraged, with parish church wardens offering one penny for every kite killed. This, combined with the activities of egg collectors, caused their numbers to drop. By the end of the 19th century red kites were extinct in England and Scotland, with only a few pairs surviving in the valleys of mid-Wales. However, the numbers were not sufficient to repopulate England and Scotland.