The Red Kite

The Red Kite
The Red Kite © Matt Hoskins (Furlined)


The re-introduction of the red kite to England and Wales is one of the most successful conservation stories of recent times. On this day, twenty-five years ago, five  birds were released into the Chilterns. Over the years a total of 93 birds from Spain, Germany and Sweden have been released into the wild (I don’t have the figures for Wales) and it is from them that the current-day population stems. The wheeeling flight of the red kite, with its magnificent chestnut plumage and elegantly forked tail, is now a common sight in the skies of Oxfordshire and adjacent counties. In Wales, the Elan Valley remains my site of choice for viewing these wonderful creatures.

It is tempting to see the world as full of nothing but death and disaster, and while I would not wish to pretend that everything is as it should be or that we can safely ignore what is going on around us, I would still want to say, ‘Look up; look out; see the beauty that surrounds us, and give thanks.’


5 thoughts on “The Red Kite”

  1. We have some here in the valley. When we first moved in this old house had been empty for some time. The next week one of these birds wheeled over us, dropping lower and lower as it did so, until it was very low indeed above the house. I was left with the clear impression it recognized the house was no longer empty and had come to see what was going on. It flew away and then came back with another bird, and the pair proceeded to adopt the same behaviour; it never happened again. It really does raise the question of ‘who is our neighbour?’

  2. Absolutely agree with the poet’s sentiment and your’s. Seeing the kites on the road into Oxford was one of the greatest surprises and pleasures of a recent holiday. Here kites are few and far between, but I often hear a kitten in the sky, look up and it’s a buzzard… Magnificent.

  3. I’m so glad you’ve drawn the wildlife world to our attention here. The freedom of the skies is uplifting and looking upwards is reckoned to be a good way to counter human stress and depression as well, whether it’s looking into the sky itself or at the trees and buildings reaching up into it.

  4. A lovely and cheerful note on which to reflect. It is true that in the mix of sorrowful and tragic events that abound in the world of late, we do lose sight of the goodness and beauty that surrounds. May we never lose sight of God’s goodness.

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