Spring in the Chilterns - Red Kites courtship

Spring has arrived, the daffodils are coming out and the lambs are bleating across the Chiltern again.  And for us, at The Hintons, the awaited return of the Red Kites.  For many years we’ve had a pair nesting in a tall Beech tree in the meadow. Sadly the strong winds of the Christmas storm blew down the nest.

We have started to see pairs soaring overhead, diving and chasing each other with exaggerated wing-beats. This is the first sign of courtship, although they don’t mate until April. Red Kites usually mate for life. 

A Red Kites nest is made from large twigs, dried grass and wool however they also decorate it with things they find such as paper, cloth or bits of plastic.  Nests looks rather messy and measure around 2 feet across.  Our visiting Kites sit in the same tree to eat their prey and drop the bones below each day, we'll keep watching them and hope they start to rebuild their nest soon.

Interesting website to take a look at; www.chilternsaonb.org