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Old 20.07.2020, 10:39
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What's with all the Red kites?

I've just come back from a morning cycle and it's staggering the number of Red kites I've seen this year. I know that they're not an uncommon sight in Switzerland but I counted at least 25 circling above one single field that was being harvested.

I love these magnificent birds and it's great to see them doing so well. One does wonder if numbers are increasing and why? Has anyone else noticed anything similar?
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Old 20.07.2020, 10:45
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Re: What's with all the Red kites?

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I've just come back from a morning cycle and it's staggering the number of Red kites I've seen this year. I know that they're not an uncommon sight in Switzerland but I counted at least 25 circling above one single field that was being harvested.

I love these magnificent birds and it's great to see them doing so well. One does wonder if numbers are increasing and why? Has anyone else noticed anything similar?
I've noticed the same. They're a beautiful sight to see but I have no clue as to why they seem more prevalent in recent times.
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Old 20.07.2020, 10:53
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Re: What's with all the Red kites?

I've seen more but it's about this time of the year that the young birds are taking their first flights.

That would account for the increased numbers seen recently but that would not explain the overall increase (if there actually is one).

Why there are a lot more this year overall?- a warm winter? Less breeding adults killed by cars (because of less cars on the road due to COVID-19) back in April/May)? Less pollution...?
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Old 20.07.2020, 11:05
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Re: What's with all the Red kites?

Not so many around Lac Lemain this year, perhaps they have decided their French is good enough, they need to learn some Swiss German.
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Old 20.07.2020, 11:54
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Re: What's with all the Red kites?

We’ve had absolutely loads of them circling over here since the start of the ‘lockdown’, way more than normal.
Neuchâtel french is obviously ok for them.
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Old 20.07.2020, 13:38
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Re: What's with all the Red kites?

Loads of them up here..
Same thing, seeing them in their tens circling in the warm air. Especially when the fields have been cut, huge numbers.
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Old 20.07.2020, 14:03
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Re: What's with all the Red kites?

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Not so many around Lac Lemain this year, perhaps they have decided their French is good enough, they need to learn some Swiss German.
Same around Winterthur, we used to have much more. They all flew off to Zurich? Can't blame them really.
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Old 20.07.2020, 14:26
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Re: What's with all the Red kites?

Due to milder winters, an increasing number of adult red kites don't fly south anymore. The young ones still fly off, probably because you can't easily override instincts but the adults tend to stay. Since migrating is always a dangerous endeavour that kills off a certain number, the birds staying here means there are more adult birds to rear chicks.

Switzerland is actually home to 10% of the world's red kite population. The ban on shooting them and ready availability of food means they have ideal conditions to thrive here.
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