Red Kites - St Molaga

While, near the midway cliff, the
slivered kite
In many whistling circle wheels her
flight ; -” An Evening Walk “by
William Wordsworth 1787
• When you think of Red Kites you think of
something like this ...
•Well your wrong !
This is a Red Kite
What is a bird of prey ?
A bird of prey is a bird who eats;
Other birds, Animals , fish or insects . Birds of prey include
Hawks , Owls ,Eagles ,Falcons and the Red Kites
The Kite and all other
birds of prey have
sharp beaks and
talons for catching,
killing and eating prey
Almost all bids of prey
(Falcon , Hawks ,Kites
etc. ) are active during
the day they are
diurnal . Other birds
like the Owl, are
nocturnal ,nocturnal
birds of prey have
excellent hearing.
• Well they’d have to be pretty light so we
should have a look at what makes them tick.
Bones; Their bones are hollow with a
honeycombed interior .
Organs ; They have powerful lungs and large
Muscles ; They have chest and flight muscles
Wingspan can tell you
• how they hunt
• where they live
How they hunt
Flapping those wings takes a lot of energy so the
birds with a smaller wingspan can flap all they
want e.g. Robins can flap around the trees
eating all of the berries because the have a
smaller wing span .
On the other hand, big birds ,birds with a lager
wing span ,like the kite wouldn’t have the
energy to flap such large wings for so long so
they would glide instead, to catch their prey .
Where they live
. Smaller birds with shorter wingspans tend to live in forests
or wood lands, hawks have short wings and long tails for
speed and easy movement .
Where as the larger bird’s wingspan would , get caught in the
trees . So the longer-winged birds of prey like the kite ,would
live in the open .
Looking after Feathers
First which feather is which
W ell each feather is used for something different
on the breast their feathers are soft and Downey . (these
are used to keep their chicks warm .)
Contour feathers cover the body and smooth it .
The long flight feathers and the contour feathers give the
Kite its unique shape.
The long tail feathers of a Red Kite gives it great
manoeuvrability and control while soaring .
Feathers have to be
replaced after time
(at least once a year)
they shed the old ones
and re-grow new ones
. Geese and swans
loose all their flight
feathers at the same
time so they cant fly
until they grow back .
Kites moult their
feathers gradually .
All birds wash themselves ,
feathers get grubby over time
. Birds of prey could have bits
of blood and meat stuck to
their feathers and they will
need to clean them . They may
use a stream or pond to wash
in . Birds spend a lot of the
time preening ,at the same
time picking out lice or bugs .
Where ?can I see the Red Kite
• Where ? In Europe
• Where ? In Ireland
• Where ? In my garden
•Where ? in Europe
Red Kites live in most places in
Europe ,but before they were reintroduced to Scotland, England
and Ireland , Wales had the only
surviving Red Kites. But now
Kites can be seen in most places
in Europe and even across the
north African coast.
Where ? In Ireland
Red kites live in the east of Ireland
near farmlands so they can follow
the tractors to see what bugs they
turn up.
Where ? In my back yard
If you leave food (bread,
fruit etc.) for the smaller
birds after awhile the Red
kite will come to eat them.
(1) The female lays eggs
She will lay up to four eggs at a time, they are white
and are flecked with light brown . In 30-32 days
time they will hatch . Incubating eggs
Eggs hatching
The female keeps the chicks under her
most of the time to keep them warm and
dry . She tears up bits of meat and give
them to her chick .
(2) The young chick
The chick is ready to fly at 48-50 days old , but it
stays with it’s parents for 2-4 more weeks . Chick
In Autumn the young kites must
leave to find a new home . it takes
two years to mature enough to find a
mate and build a nest.
• scavenging
The Red Kite can eat a variety
of animals .it is mainly a
scavenger , the kite’s beak
isn’t strong and its feet are
fairly small . By scavenging it
can eat animals much larger
than it would be able to catch
and kill its self .But it can kill
and catch a lot of prey by its
self’s such as rabbits, rats,
mice and sometimes other
birds .
The Red Kite cannot digest some of the animal parts (
feather , fur , wool and insect cases .).The Red Kite make
pellets out of these bits and then regurgitate them . If you
study them you can find out what they eat .
FOOD 2007-2008
Rabbit and hare
Mice and
No crows
Rabbit and hare
Mice and Shrew
no Earthworms
Many birds of prey are solitary or spend the season
with their mate or family .These birds include falcons
and eagles they will chase of other birds .Red Kites
on the other hand are quite social ,especially when
young .During the winter Kites gather large numbers
in one area .At night they all join in huge groups and
spend the night in a small group of trees together .
It is thought that they roost to pass on information
about how to get food .When a kite leaves the roost
to feed the other kites watch or follow ,therefore
roosting together means finding food easier .
Traditions and Beliefs
In some parts of Ireland mostly in limerick ,in
the sixteenth century . The people hung the
eggs that the chickens hatched out of on the
their house to stop the kites from taking
* Kites are a cool and I enjoyed
learning/writing about them and I
hope you did too *

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