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Aberdeen Red Kites

Aberdeenshire red kite chicks

Some of the first red kite chicks to be hatched in Aberdeen for 150 years!

Image: Ewan Weston

Red kites were persecuted to extinction in Scotland and England. UK-wide reintroductions have been carried out and during the Aberdeen phase of the reintroductions, 101 red kites were released in the area from 2007–2009.

Following this successful reintroduction programme they are becoming a common sight once more, here in Aberdeen. We are now monitoring the species closely and developing a range of projects which promote kites locally.

Project objectives

  • To create a self-sustaining population of red kites on the outskirts of Aberdeen which the people of Aberdeen can enjoy and be proud of.

Key dates so far

  • July 2007: The reintroduction project begins, with 30 young red kites released on the outskirts of Aberdeen at a secret location
  • July 2008: A further 35 red kites are released
  • June 2009: The first red kite chicks are born and reared in the wild near Aberdeen for the first time in nearly 150 years. The Aberdeen public followed their progress watching CCTV footage
  • August 2009: The last red kites are released and the location is revealed as VSA Easter Anguston Farm. This brings the total of red kites reintroduced to the Aberdeen area to 101
  • June 2010: Following on from 2009's breeding success, 15 red kites were reared in the area. Again we were lucky to have a nest we could film and footage was shown at VSA Easter Anguston and at Union Square in the centre of Aberdeen

Work planned or underway

The continued monitoring of our fledgling breeding population of red kites is the priority for our current and future work. We are also trying to raise the profile of the species through an exciting education project which links in Bird Friendly Schools. 

Each year over 40 primary schools receive a red kite visit from a volunteer and many go on to adopt and name kites. We have also been very lucky to have a camera on a kite nest since 2009.  We are aiming to do this every summer with live footage at VSA Easter Anguston and Union Square. The webcam coverage has finished for this year, but all being well it will resume in Summer 2013.

Who to contact



The reintroduction itself was supported through funding and partnership support from The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Aberdeen Greenspace Trust Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund, and Scottish Natural Heritage, with a further donations from local business supporters.

The webcam is also supported by Forestry Commission Scotland and VSA Easter Anguston Farm.

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