The Red Kite’s Year - Pelagic Publishing

The Red Kite’s Year

By Illustrations by Foreword by
  • The inside story of the reintroduction of Red Kite
  • In-depth natural history of the Red Kite
  • Beautifully illustrated by wildlife artist Dan Powell

Shipped from UK/EU or USA depending on your location

  • birds
  • birdwatching
  • Coming Soon
  • conservation
  • ecology
  • kite
  • ornithology
  • raptor


The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) – one of our most elegant and impressive birds of prey – has a varied and dramatic history in Britain. Having been driven perilously close to extinction, it has now made a welcome comeback, in part through one of the most successful reintroduction projects ever undertaken. This beautifully illustrated book follows the birds through the ups and downs of the year, from the rigours of raising young during the warm summer months to the struggle for survival in the depths of winter.

Interspersed with the monthly accounts, are chapters on the history of the Red Kite in Britain, the reintroduction programme, the threats it still faces, and its status elsewhere in Europe. Red Kite biology is explored from nest construction, egg laying and nest defence, through to juveniles leaving the nest and learning to live independently. The book concludes with an overview of Red Kite status throughout their range.

With a foreword by Mark Avery.


This book will interest anyone with an interest in ornithology, specifically raptors and raptor conservation.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Mark Avery
     The artworks

Winter food; Coping with severe weather
The first signs of spring; The pair bond and age of first breeding; Courtship behaviour and calling; Male or female?
History in Britain
Early history; A decline in fortunes; The road to recovery – Red Kite protection in Wales
Faithfulness to breeding sites; Nest building; Nest spacing and breeding density
Final touches to the nest; Eggs and incubation; Nest decoration; Defence of the nest
The Red Kite reintroduction programme
Early reintroduction attempts; Planning the restoration to England and Scotland; Collecting young and care in captivity; Release into the wild; Progress so far; Further release projects; The wider benefits of reintroduction; Bringing back the Red Kite – a project officer’s perspective; The future
Care of small chicks; Studies of food in the breeding season; Foraging range and habitat use
The growing brood; Preparations for the first flight
Leaving the nest; Towards independence; Red Kite adoptions; Measuring breeding success
Threats and problems
Illegal persecution; Accidental poisoning; Egg collecting; Collisions and accidents; Powerlines
Fending for themselves; Plumage differences; The annual moult; A lull in activity
Wanderlust; The Red Kite as a migrant; and The use of new technology
To feed or not to feed? Changes in legislation; Red Kite feeding stations; Feeding in gardens
The communal roost; Attendance patterns; The daily routine
The benefits of communal roosting; Social interactions and play at roosts
A wildlife spectacle; and The influence of weather on roosting behaviour World status Northern Europe; Northwest Europe; Central and eastern Europe; Southern Europe; The future

Further reading
Sources of further information
Species mentioned in the text

About the Author

Ian Carter worked as an ornithologist for Natural England and its predecessors for over 25 years before taking early retirement. He has a long history of involvement with raptor conservation, including the reintroduction of the Red Kite.

Dan Powell is an award-winning wildlife artist and naturalist, whose drawings and paintings have been published in numerous books and journals.

Bibliographic Information

  • 230 pages
  • 107 colour illustrations
  • BISAC SCI070040, NAT004000, SCI020000, NAT010000