Aberdeen Red Kites (ARK) is a three year project to reintroduce kites to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. 30 birds were released in 2007, 35 in 2008 and another 30-35 in 2009. Many of the birds have been named by schools and local business. The aim of the project is to establish a breeding population in one of the largest remaining gaps for red kites in Britain.
Another day, another kite nest!
Yesterday's was a little different however as under the messy wool covered kite nest was a tree sparrow nest with five eggs! This isn't unusal and we've recorded it in local buzzard and osprey nests also but was a little surprising for our climber.
In the same wood there was also a buzzard nest which was only 60m away - our closest so far.
Today we started tagging and ringing our red kite chicks. A little bit later than expected, but that is probably due to the later breeding season following on from the cold winter. So far we have ringed, tagged and measured 11 youngsters from 4 nests. Below is a snap of a brood of 3 chicks back on the nest after tagging. Many thanks to our expert climber Ewan for grabbing such a great shot! It shows really well the defence mechanism of the kites of playing dead - they even stick their tongues out!
Hopefully we'll get a few more nests and chicks before the summer is over.
After last year's amazing footage of some of the first breeding kites in Aberdeen for 150 years we hopeful of being able to repeat the camera again this year, but weren't counting any chickens! We have a new nest this year with a new pair. Fairview (09) and Tango (38) have three chicks that are almost four weeks old now. After two weeks of showing off the footage at Union Square in Aberdeen we are heading back to VSA Easter Anguston Farm outside Peterculter. Hope we see you there soon!
In the next week we'll start ringing and tagging the chicks in the wild so will post some pictures of our work soon.