Please Don't Feed the Red Kites

Red Kites by Just Jack from Unsplash

Red Kites are now a well established part of Chesham's wildlife that we can all enjoy watching. But please follow this advice from Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and don't feed them:
 
"Red kites eat mainly dead animals that they are able to find (carrion), being too weak-footed to kill any prey much bigger than a small rabbit. They will also feed on chicks, small mammals and invertebrates such as beetles and earthworms. The kite hunts by flying low over open country, using the forked tail to steer, twisting it like a rudder. Live prey is usually caught by surprise rather than speed, although kites sometimes make fast, twisting chases.
 
Please DO NOT feed Red Kites – this can encourage birds to become dependent on scraps which will not give them all the nutrients they need. Large numbers, attracted to food can become a public nuisance and may encourage persecution. There is also an environmental health risk if scraps of cooked or uncooked meat are left lying around or dropped by birds. Further, it is likely that high numbers may discourage song birds and other wildlife."
 
We are aware of cases of chicken bones being dropped by kites into people's gardens, where pet dogs have become injured requiring expensive vet treatment. So please, enjoy watching the kites at a distance, but don't feed them.
 
Photo by Just Jack on Unsplash

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