A study of the winter diet of reintroduced red kites (Milvus milvus) from North East England

Quigley, Cally, Armstrong, Roy ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8748-8787 , Nevin, Owen ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3513-8053 and Ramsey, Andrew D. ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5550-9977 (2008) A study of the winter diet of reintroduced red kites (Milvus milvus) from North East England. In: Symposium of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL): Avian Reintroduction Biology, 8-9 May 2008, The Zoological Society of London, UK. Full text not available from this repository.

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The red kite (Milvus milvus) was once one of the rarest birds in Britain; however, following several reintroduction projects throughout the UK the red kite is steadily making a comeback. This study examined the winter diet of the population of reintroduced red kites in the north-east. Feeding pellets were collected from Spen Banks wood, Gateshead. A total of 137 pellets was collected during six collection events from December to March 2007. The pellets were broken down and ten hair or feather samples were taken at random from each pellet. Hair samples from mammals were identified to species and included a wide range of prey items including a range of lagomorphs, mustelids, rodents, domestic cat and roe deer. Other identifiable remains included feathers from pheasants and corvids and chaetae from earthworms. Earthworms were the most commonly encountered food item from wintering kite pellets, with other bird species being second. Non-food items were also identified including rope and loft insulation. The red kites’ diet did not change significantly over the winter period. A 50m x 50m grid was also set up look for spatial relationships within the roost. A significant negative correlation (r= -0.991, p=0.009) was discovered between the number of pellets and the distance form the edge of the roost. It is not clear whether this is due to dominant birds preferring the middle of the roost, a despotic distribution within the kites, or the outside edge of the roost being more attractive. The project was supported by RSPB Northern Kites.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Journal / Publication Title: n/a
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2012 15:38
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 20:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1064
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