After years of persecution Red Kite numbers are now increasing and they can be seen all around the Oxfordshire area.
They are easily identifiable by their forked tail.
I have a number of both Buzzards and Red Kites on my local patch. Even if you can’t see the tail straight away both birds behave totally differently. The Red Kite tends to soars up and down the fields anything from 1 metre to 20 metres off the ground, occasionally twisting and turning then diving down at something on the ground, which normally ends up being a worm. They eat carrion as well and my local ones were eating a dead Hare the other day. I have also seen them take Swallow chicks during the summer.
The Buzzards spend a lot more time just sitting quietly in the trees, watching.
The Red Kites are much more vocal, calling out to its mate while flying up and down. Its call is thin and less mewing than the Buzzard. When the Red Kites do perch in the trees, they are still very vocal.
We have 4 Red Kites, which tend to stick in 2 pairs. They don’t interact with the Buzzards except on a really warm day when the thermals are rising and they will all join in together.
I haven’t seen H3 for around 6 weeks now. If you followed my old blog you will know H3 is my local Buzzard that has been ringed. She was ringed in June 2013 at Hampton Estate, Seale in Surrey and I have been photographing her here for around two years now. Yesterday I saw her mate the other side of the road to normal, but this time of year the pair move out near the road to hassle the Red Wings and Fieldfares on the Hawthorn hedges. I really want to see her as I’m worried something has happened to her.
Here’s a photo take in February 2015