Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Red kite breeding hit by bad weather

Harsh weather conditions have dealt a blow to the breeding of red kite chicks in Northern Ireland.

Plans to increase the bird population hit a setback when four of nine breeding pairs were unsuccessful due to storms in May.

Heavy winds blew nests from trees as they were being built and the birds had not yet laid eggs.

Plans to expand the population came after the reintroduction of the red kite to the north of Ireland, the first time in 200 years.

The five remaining pairs were successful, however, with one nest found to have triplets - another first for Northern Ireland, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The RSPB will continue to monitor the birds and put emphasis on educating the public about kites, said Adam McClure, the society's new red kite monitoring and outreach officer.

"Staff and volunteers are pleased with the progress made this year and everyone we've spoken to about the kites' success this year has welcomed the news and had positive things to say about these magnificent birds," Mr McClure added.

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