The status of the Red Kite in the UK has been improving since the early 1990s. This is due to the very successful reintroduction programme that was implemented by English Nature (now Natural England) and the RSPB.
The Trust’s local reintroduction project for Red Kites finished in 2005, and numbers of Red Kites seen in northwest Hampshire are continuing to increase. At least one of the kites released by the Trust has made a breeding attempt. To follow the progress of these birds, the Hawk Conservancy Trust is conducting research on the ecology of local Red Kites.
The project has two main aims:
- To determine the population and nesting distribution of Red Kites within the local study area
- To observe and record breeding behaviour, productivity, inter-specific relationships and foraging behaviour
The project study area is approximately 2,500 km2, based around Andover in northwest Hampshire and Wiltshire. One component of the project is to contribute data to the monitoring of kites by the Hampshire Ornithological Society.
Funding for the project has been provided by generous donations from the Hawk Conservancy Trust 100 Club and from David Rhodes in memory of John Rhodes.