Misunderstanding of these large birds means that some are worried about the nature of Red Kites on livestock but in fact, they are scavengers and are commonly seen eating worms rather than even bothering to hunt a rabbit! With the lambing season in full swing, the RSPB is reassuring farmers that Red Kites do not pose any threat to lambs. Last year was a great year for the kites in County Down and everyone is hoping that 2013 will bring similar successes.
Adam McClure, RSPB Red Kite Officer advises, “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.”
It is important to remember that whilst pest control may be a common practice in the farming industry, poisoning and laying poisoned bait is illegal, indiscriminate poison in our countryside can harm other wildlife.