Scientist involved in a programme to reintroduce iconic red kites to Scotland are celebrating a new success after a pair of birds from two different areas bred and established a new territory for the first time. The female, from the Black Isle, was tracked by a satellite tag to Aberdeen where RSPB officers have now confirmed it paired with a local male. The pair, named “Professor Feathers” and “Red Blaze”, have overcome Scotland’s poor weather conditions to rear three chicks in a “new area” away from other established pairs of red kites.
It is thought to be the first time red kites from the north and east Scotland populations have bred together. The family are now being monitored as part of the RSPB’s red kite reintroduction programme, which is one of the world’s longest-running bird protection schemes. The species declined in numbers during the 19th century following extensive persecution resulting in their eventual extinction throughout Scotland and England.