Red kite – Milvus milvus

The beautiful red kite (Milvus milvus) was persecuted to near extinction two centuries ago because of the mistaken belief that they were a threat to livestock. A committee was formed in 1903 to protect nests and eggs from hunters and collectors. In 1986, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and NCC (now Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage), combined forces to tender the idea of reintroducing the red kite to England and Scotland. In 1989, six wild birds acquired from Sweden were released in northern Scotland and four Swedish and one Welsh bird were released in the county of Buckinghamshire. In total, almost 100 birds from Sweden and Spain were released at various sites into the early 1990s. Successful breeding populations established themselves quickly.

I photographed these red kites in the Brecon Beacons in April 2017.