The Red Kite has been referred to as the National Bird of Wales as for many years in the UK, Mid Wales was its only breeding place. However, I have noticed one or two in the skies of South Wales and the bird is now well on the road to recovery from being on the edge of extinction in the 20th Century due to human persecution over much of the UK. During those bad years it was in Mid Wales that a handful survived in secluded woodlands.
The killing of Red Kites began when farmers had the erroneous beliefs that the birds attacked and killed lambs but it turned out that the Kites were totally innocent and fed mostly on carrion and smaller rabbits and other mammals, but it would take out pheasant and other game birds. It’s diet can also extend to beetles and worms.
The Red Kite is an impressive looking bird in flight with a wingspan of around 2mtrs (5½ ft) and has a swallow-like forked tail. It soars higher and higher with the thermal winds and has keen eyes to seek out prey or carrion on the ground. In medieval times, was quite a common site in the British Skies.
Since the late 1980s there has been a program to reintroduce the Red Kite into the wild. There are now protected and it is illegal to harm or kill one or remove eggs from its nest.