How far does a kite range?

Hi all,

In the Identify This! thread, I put up a photo of a fuzzy blob that had characteristics of a red kite. Now, the day before yesterday, I did get a picture of a red kite. It was some way a way by the time we had both found a gap in the trees through which it could be photographed.

 

Now, this one was spotted in my brother's field, which is about 2 miles, as the kite flies, from where I photographed the fuzzy one. So, the question is - am I seeing two kites or one? Are they territorial? Do they range each other's terrritories?

Cheers
Steve

PS - the nice thing about the kite is that, although I've never seen one before except on TV programmes ages ago, and in photos, the minute I saw it, it couldn't be anything else, even before it tilted enough to show me the forked tail.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_dewey/sets/72157623533703702/  (there's birds there - and some  are actually sharp!)

 

  • How far does a kite range.  I am tempted to say as far as the string will allow it.

    The real answer is a long way.  Kites like to breed close together which is why you get a lot in some areas and not others. My impression is that even in the breeding season they will move around (most large BoP have a home territory and a larger feeding territory which will overlap others) . Outside the breeding season they will spread out over a large area. In particular young birds will range for a long distance, presumably looking for new territories although they do tend to return nearer to the parent's territory (sounds like my kids).  

    It would interesting to know where you saw this bird and then someone can advise you about the population in that area.

    The Cotswold Water park sightings website

    My Flicker page

  • Hi Steve

    I would expect a 2 mile range would be fairly normal for a red kite, so it's possible you could be seeing the same one over your brothers field. Pairs will each have their own territory around their nesting site, but red kites aren't aggressive.

    More info Here

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • We have got a bit of info' on red kite distribution on our website here and there have been a few records of birds in the UK travelling long distances. They can certainly cover great distances in relatively quick times as they are masters at using thermals to gain elevation making gliding on to new feeding grounds an almost effortless activity.

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • In reply to IanH:

    We have been watching the Kites from the Yorkshire release programme in our area and they do seem to range quite some distance both in their search for food and for breeding areas.It may be that you have more than one bird that you are seeing,in many areas they are really doing well,if people would leave them alone

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Bob Philpott:

    Thanks all for replies so far.

    Bob Philpott said:

    It would interesting to know where you saw this bird and then someone can advise you about the population in that area.

    Seen in the Westbury area of Wiltshire.

    Looking at the Wiltshire Ornothilogical Soc website, I notice there are a quite a few red kites spotted in the East and North of the county, fewer in the south/west of the county.

    Cheers

    Steve

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_dewey/sets/72157623533703702/  (there's birds there - and some  are actually sharp!)

     

  • In reply to SteveDe:

    There has been a recent sighting (this month) of a red kite over Pendle Hill where I live in East Lancs. and another sighting a few days earlier a few miles away. There were a total of 9 sightings in my area reported to the local ornithological club during 2010.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:

    Some juvenile Red Kites 'wander' in their first couple of years and others stay pretty much where they were fledged. They are quite happy to be in groups and are not aggressive.

    There are a couple of places near me that have populations of a dozen or so Kites, one of which has recently had 2 tagged birds arrive from the Peterborough area which is about 60 miles away, they are both youngsters from last year.

    It is great to see that they are doing so well, such magnificent birds.

    Nicola

  • In reply to SteveDe:

    Steve,  Don't forget to send you sightings in to WOS.  They may not appear on the website this time of the year if they happen to be near a breeding area.   East and North of the County is right but they are spreading west and south slowly.

    The Cotswold Water park sightings website

    My Flicker page

  • In reply to Bob Philpott:

    Bob, fret-ye-not, I did send the sighting of the kite to the WOS; while I was looking at their latest sightings page, I noticed a "send your sighting" link, so I did. Interesting point - I already enter the birds I identify (or the birds others identify ;) ) as causals in the BTO database - is it helpful to also report them to WOS?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_dewey/sets/72157623533703702/  (there's birds there - and some  are actually sharp!)

     

  • In reply to SteveDe:

    Sreve, Technically if you submit sightings to Bird Track they are passed on to the WOS Recorder.   If you have an unusual sighting I think it might be worth sending them to WOS even at the risk of duplication.

    The Cotswold Water park sightings website

    My Flicker page