Red Kite shot in Yorkshire-detail sketchy

Once again another red kite has been reported shot in Yorkshire 4 months after the event, what good is that we would ask. It seems the kite had been shot by someone using a high powered rifle. Unfortunately, although the incident has been reported by Look North Yorkshire, information remains very sketchy.


Red Kites pose no threat to shooting interests as they mainly feed upon carrion and small rodents.


The kite was discovered  on the ground by a footpath alongside the River Wharfe between Wetherby and Harewood in October last year. Information regarding the incident has only just come to light.


What is very interesting about this dead kite, look closely at the deformed beak. This indicates the bird may not have been feeding correctly. Many raptors in captivity have long deformed beaks which is an indicator the bird has been eating the wrong kind of  food, for example very little bone. This may or may not be significant, as this kind of deformity is rare in wild birds?

West Yorks Police who are investigating this incident and have now asked the public for help solving this crime. Anybody who saw anything, even if they’re not entirely sure what it is they saw, should contact the police in Wetherby.

The  images show the sad demise of a most wonderful (protected) bird. We find it disappointing, if not outrageous, that having been brought back from extinction, these birds are now being killed with total impunity throughout our countryside. Surely it’s about time the courts stopped handing down community service accompanied by small fines which clearly offer no deterrent, instead send the perpetrators  to prison where they belong, otherwise the killing will continue.


2 comments to Red Kite shot in Yorkshire-detail sketchy

  • David Le Mesurier

    There are a number of feeding station around the country that feed Red Kites.

    If the birds are able to obtain ‘too much’ food they they may well be only eating the meat from it and not the bone as they would in the normal wild diet when they utilise most of the prey. This maybe the reason for the deformed beak.

    It would be interesting to see if chicks from areas around feeding station have deformed bones in any way as a result of this

  • I would suggest that the ‘deformity’ in this bird’s beak, as shown in the photo, is an illusion. I have seen other images of this bird and they do not show the feature reported. There are no feeding stations in the area in which the bird was found. However, the point made regarding potential calcium deficiency is a valid one and applies particularly in the breeding season when young kites are rapidly growing in the nest. See the section ‘Feeding Red Kites’ on the above website. For the record, this bird was found in November, not October as has been reported – not that this affects the validity of the comments made regarding the delay in appealing for information. Since the Yorkshire reintroductions began in 1999, almost 30 kites are known to have died as a direct result of illegal human activity, though this was the first such death known to have occurred in West Yorkshire.