Belfast Telegraph

Red kites ‘no threat to lambs’

Red kites are no threat to lambs, the RSPB has told farmers.

The rare birds are scavengers, preferring to eat worms, scraps and mice, and are no danger during the lambing season, the wildlife group said.

Red kites were persecuted to extinction in Ireland 200 years ago.

Following Northern Ireland’s first species reintroduction scheme, the spectacular birds are now breeding here and between 70 and 80 have settled.

RSPB red kite officer Adam McClure said the birds are mainly scavengers.

“Kites do not hunt mobile prey, but prefer to feed on meat scraps, earthworms, carcasses, frogs and the occasional mouse or rat. These birds of prey lack the power, strength and speed to take anything larger than a young rabbit, never mind a lamb,” he said.

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