herald

Sunday 25 September 2016

Fingal delight after three red kite chicks spread their wings

An adult red kite in flight; Three new chicks have now been confirmed to have fledged in the Fingal area
An adult red kite in flight; Three new chicks have now been confirmed to have fledged in the Fingal area

Fingal is flying high following the news that three young red kites - considered among the most beautiful birds in Europe - are ready to leave the nest.

Two nests are now confirmed to have "fledged" a total of three chicks in 2016 in the Fingal area of Dublin. Fledged is when the feather and wing muscles are developed for flight.

Strategic

The Golden Eagle Trust (GET), along with project partners National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Welsh Kite Trust, brought red kites to Ireland between 2007 and 2011.

In 2011 the final batch of 53 red kites were released at strategic locations across Fingal. This was part of the fifth and final year of a project to re-establish red kites in Ireland. The Fingal sites were located halfway between the initial release locations in Co Wicklow and Co Down.

Monitoring of the birds has been undertaken since they were released in July 2011, but there was unexpected losses in the first 12 months, with 10 kites confirmed dead.

"This project was aimed at maximising the final year of the reintroduction and to help establish a contiguous east coast red kite population," said Dr Marc Ruddock, Red Kite Project Manager for GET.

"We know this year that there are now Fingal kites known to be breeding in Co Down and Co Wicklow, and both Northern Ireland and Wicklow kites are also recorded in Fingal.

"So we are confident that the reintroduction can be considered a remarkable success.

"We have been monitoring the progress of the kites in the area and now have six established pairs, and 2016 has allowed us to locate the nest and confirm these young."

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