Today I went on a walk in woods near my house to check on a rotting roe deer and whether the bones were ready to collect yet. The deer was about three weeks away from being white bones, so dad and I took a break on the hillside in the sun.
While we were resting, we saw a big bird soaring from some trees not far away. First of all we thought it was a buzzard, but the head was light grey, not brown, and the tail was too long. It was a red kite !
One of the gamekeepers we met said there are four red kites near us. Last year, another gamekeeper said that there were a pair nesting in his wood, but we didn't know where the other pair lived. Sometimes dad and I have gone in the evening to look for red kites, but we never saw any.
The red kite would go very high in the sky, then float on the wind, then land on the tree again. Then it might wait in the tree for five minutes, then fly again.
Because red kites are a rare kind of bird, the ones that are born in wildlife centres get tags attached to their wings when they are little. The tags have different colours. The one on the left wing are where they were tagged, and the one on the right wing shows when it was tagged.
When we were there, we couldn't see the tags on the red kite. But when we got look back and looked at the photographs my dad took, you could see them. Then we realised there had been two different red kites flying !
The red kite on the left has a red tag on the left wing and a purple tag on the right wing. That means it was born in Central Scotland in 2007. The other red kite also has a red tag on its left wing but a green tag on its right wing. That means it is a year older, and also came from Central Scotland.
I think these are a mummy and a daddy pair,
We saw a nest high up in the tree, about the size of a buzzards nest. I think that is where they are living. Gamekeepers normally keep a secret about where the nests are, so I am going to keep it a secret too. Sometimes people want to steal the eggs so the babies don't get born, and sometimes the red kites can get killed. Last Christmas there was one that was shot near the village.
I love red kites and thought it was amazing to watch.
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