UK celebrates Red Kite's comeback
Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:50:43 GMT
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says the Red Kite, a bird which had almost become extinct in Britain, has made a comeback.
Although the bird of prey was killed as vermin for more than 400 years, the organization has now celebrated its “remarkable” comeback, the state-funded BBC reported.
By the 1960s, there were just 20 pairs of the Red Kite, but RSPB's 2011 Big Garden Birdwatch survey shows an increase of over 130 percent since last year with as many as 2,000 recorded breeding pairs.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the bird was extinct in England and Scotland, but it began to return in the 1990s with re-introductions in several areas.
A few breeding pairs which remained in the Welsh valleys expanded slowly in the 1980s with legal protection, reduced persecution and efforts of conservationists. However, they still remained very vulnerable.
After a series of reintroductions in Scotland's Black Isle and Buckinghamshire's Chilterns in 1990, a public survey shows the bird now ranks 53 in the list of most frequently seen birds in gardens.
Although only the birds which landed in gardens were officially recorded, but the RSPB says there are numerous comments on survey forms and online forums suggesting more Red Kites were seen flying over gardens.
"Red kites are one of our most elegant birds of prey and they are a spectacular sight,” said Jeff Knott of the RSPB adding, “I defy anyone that gets to see them flying over their garden not to be in awe of them.”
"They were once almost completely eradicated from the UK and thanks to the work of organizations like the RSPB and its partners and local people that have grown to love these birds.
"They are the subject of a remarkable success story which we hope will long continue."