The first pair of Red Kites to breed in Nairnshire since the 19th century

A pair of red kites have established a nest near Cawdor Castle,in Nairnshire, with full support from the Countess of Cawdor.

It comes as good news for wildlife lovers as the investigation continues into the poisoning of red kites and buzzards around the Black Isle. The tally of dead birds of prey has increased to 22 – 16 red kites and 6 buzzards with police confirming 12 had been poisoned.


Lady Cawdor said, as the guardian of a historic woodland, she was thrilled at the return of the birds.”These birds are in a sense part of the history of this area,” she said.

“At Cawdor we do our best to promote and nurture the environment, our gardens have been organic since 1979 and we are keen to promote nature conservation wherever possible.”

The birds have built a nest in woodland adjacent to the castle and are often seen from the castle flying to and from the nest.


RSPB conservation officer Stewart Blair confirmed the historic nature of the breeding attempt.

“Records indicate that kites have not bred in Nairnshire since the early 1800s,” he explained.

“Cawdor Castle has been the scene of many historic events over the centuries so it seems very appropriate that the grounds of the castle have been chosen by the kites.

“Red kites would, undoubtedly, have been a familiar sight to William the 3rd Thane of Cawdor, who built the Castle in c1370. It’s very rewarding to think that part of Nature’s historic fabric is slowly being restored.”

Mr Blair added, “After the awful events in the Black Isle when no fewer that 16 kites were found dead it is great to have a bit of good news.

“Let’s hope the kites now go from strength to strength in Nairnshire and bring delight to even more people.”

Cawdor Castle is open to visitors this year from the 1st May until the 5th October.


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