The release phase of the Trust’s Red Kite Project finished in 2005. Look under the Publications section for information on the releases and the methods that were used. Click on ‘Post-release research’ to find out more about this project.

Red Kites Release Diary

Red kite chick

In 2003 The Hawk Conservancy Trust became the first organisation in England to breed and release Red Kites back to the wild.

Staff with red kite chicks

Four chicks were successfully hatched, and for the first few days of their lives, the chicks were cared for by dedicated members of Trust staff.

Red kite chick being placed in nest

The chicks were then placed in a nest with foster parents, who raised them as their own.

Red Kite  with Ashley

When the chicks had started to grow their first feathers, but were still unable to fly, they were removed from their foster parents to begin their journey to the wild.

Radio transmitter mounted on Red Kite tail

All the chicks were fitted with BTO rings and radio transmitters prior to their release.

Red Kites in artificial nest

Each chick was given a name (named after local farms) - Manor, Fox, Haydown and Piper - and identification photos were taken. The chicks were then placed into artificial nest sites in our wild flower meadow, and were fed daily by Trust staff.

Setting up the blind feeding system
Monitoring Red Kites from the hide

A monitoring station was set up in our member’s hide, staffed by students from Newcastle University and volunteers from our membership, allowing the chicks' daily behaviour to be monitored.

Red Kite high in the sky

Once the chicks began their first flights from the nest, our two research students (Kate and Mel) tracked them across the local countryside, from dawn to dusk.

Kate and Mel with trachiong antenna
Red Kite in flight

The chicks soon became a regular sight around the local area, the first Red Kites to be resident in the local valley for over 150 years.

Red Kite about to be released

During 2003/2004 several wild Red Kites were brought into the Trust’s bird of prey hospital, and where possible they were rehabilitated back to the wild.

Amy with tracking antenna

The Trust continued with this project in 2005, releasing further birds into the area. These birds were tracked by research student Amy throughout the winter.

Red Kite on top of an aviary!

The Kites are now a regular sight both in the local area and at our afternoon raptor feed. Some have been seen flying with wild Red Kites and it is hoped that they may breed in the near future.

Corporate Supporters
Our Awards

Website content ©Hawk Conservancy Trust 2011 - 2016 | Registered charity no. 1092349