UK Red Kite Reintroductions

In 1989, a decision was taken by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to reintroduce kites to various parts of the UK.  Between 1989 and 2004 the RSPB, English Nature and a variety of other partners have been working on a programme to re-introduce red kites to a number of sites across Britain.

Red Kite release

Northern Kites was the seventh red kite reintroduction project in England and Scotland.  In 2002, northeast England was identified as the 'final' area for reintroduction in England - forming a link between Yorkshire and Scottish populations.

The red kite UK population is now growing and in 2006 was approximately 2,000 birds.

Map showing Red Kite Release Project Areas

Wing tags are used in all the red kite release areas in the UK.  The left wing tag colour refers to the release area while the right wing tag colour refers to the year of release.  Kites are exploring areas around the UK, therefore if a kite is sighted it is possible it could be from any area and can be identified by the following wing tag combinations:

Area Scheme Code

 

Tag Colour 
(left wing)

Wing Tag Year Code

Tag Colour
(right wing)

Wales

Black

1998

Lime green

Chilterns

Yellow

1999

Black

Northamptonshire

White

2000

Pink

Yorkshire

Orange

2001

Blue

Central Scotland

Red

2002

White

Dumfries & Galloway

Green

2003

Red

North Scotland

Blue

2004

Yellow

Northeast England (Northern Kites)

Pink

2005

Orange

Northeast England (Northern Kites)

Pink

2006

Lime green

Northeast England (Northern Kites)

Pink

2007

Purple

Northeast England
(Northern Kites)

Pink

2009

Pink

Wing tags also have unique numbers or letters.  Some kites may have no wing tags indicating they are 'wild birds' and could be from any area.

 

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© Northern Kites 2008