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Good Reads  Ornithology  Non-Passerines  Birds of Prey

The Red Kite's Year

By: Ian Carter(Author), Dan Powell(Illustrator), Mark Avery(Foreword By)
160 pages, 107 colour & b/w illustrations
The Red Kite's Year
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  • The Red Kite's Year ISBN: 9781784272005 Paperback Apr 2019 In stock
Price: £25.99
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About this book

The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) – one of our most elegant and impressive birds of prey – has a varied and dramatic history in Britain. Having been driven perilously close to extinction, it has now made a welcome comeback, in part through one of the most successful reintroduction projects ever undertaken. This beautifully illustrated book follows the birds through the ups and downs of the year, from the rigours of raising young during the warm summer months to the struggle for survival in the depths of winter. Interspersed with the monthly accounts, are chapters on the history of the Red Kite in Britain, the reintroduction programme, the threats it still faces, and its status elsewhere in Europe. Red Kite biology is explored from nest construction, egg laying and nest defence, through to juveniles leaving the nest and learning to live independently. The Red Kite's Year concludes with an overview of Red Kite status throughout their range.


- Foreword by Mark Avery
- Acknowledgements
- Introduction
- The artworks
- January Winter food
- Coping with severe weather
- February The first signs of spring
- The pair bond and age of first breeding
- Courtship behaviour and calling
- Male or female? History in Britain Early history
- A decline in fortunes
- The road to recovery - Red Kite protection in Wales
- March Faithfulness to breeding sites
- Nest building
- Nest spacing and breeding density
- April Final touches to the nest
- Eggs and incubation
- Nest decoration
- Defence of the nest
- The Red Kite reintroduction programme
- Early reintroduction attempts
- Planning the restoration to England and Scotland
- Collecting young and care in captivity
- Release into the wild
- Progress so far
- Further release projects
- The wider benefits of reintroduction
- Bringing back the Red Kite - a project officer's perspective
- The future
- May Care of small chicks
- Studies of food in the breeding season
- Foraging range and habitat use
- June The growing brood
- Preparations for the first flight
- July Leaving the nest
- Towards independence
- Red Kite adoptions
- Measuring breeding success
- Threats and problems
- Illegal persecution
- Accidental poisoning
- Egg collecting
- Collisions and accidents
- Powerlines
- August Fending for themselves
- Plumage differences
- The annual moult
- A lull in activity
- September Wanderlust
- The Red Kite as a migrant and The use of new technology
- To feed or not to feed? Changes in legislation
- Red Kite feeding stations
- Feeding in gardens
- October The communal roost
- Attendance patterns
- The daily routine
- November The benefits of communal roosting
- Social interactions and play at roosts
- December A wildlife spectacle and the influence of weather on roosting behaviour
- World status
- Northern Europe
- Northwest Europe
- Central and eastern Europe
- Southern Europe
- The future
- Further reading
- Sources of further information
- Species mentioned in the text
- Index

Customer Reviews


Ian Carter worked as an ornithologist for Natural England and its predecessors for over 25 years before taking early retirement. He has a long history of involvement with raptor conservation, including the reintroduction of the Red Kite.

Dan Powell is an award-winning wildlife artist and naturalist, whose drawings and paintings have been published in numerous books and journals.

By: Ian Carter(Author), Dan Powell(Illustrator), Mark Avery(Foreword By)
160 pages, 107 colour & b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"[...] The book has been designed to have a wide appeal. Its ideal reader is the naturalist or birder keen to know a bit more about the bird that has recently arrived in the area. Those looking for depth of detail or data will need to look further, perhaps inspired to learn more. The number and quality of the illustrations are one of its strengths and the need to do these justice is recognized in the quality of the paper used throughout. This is a book that will both enlighten and delight, and many will keep it within easy reach."
– Barry Gray, Ibis 162(2), April 2020

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