Not long ago red kites were facing extinction in the UK. Thanks to hard work and dedicated conservation efforts, the red kite population is now doing quite well. So well in fact, that a visit to Gigrin farm (a red kite feeding site) is nothing short of a wildlife bonanza! The skies of this valley in mid-Wales are filled by hundreds of these majestic birds every afternoon.
Although it is an absolute privilege to witness the aerobatic displays performed by the red kites, for me the real treat is observing the interactions between the birds. And it's not just the red kites that turn up for the free lunch. Rooks, crows and buzzards were all keen for an easy meal!
You can almost feel the tension in the air as the birds circle above Gigrin valley. After the food is delivered, there is a hesitation before the feeding begins - no one wants to be the first to take the dive and swoop down to take a snack. It seemed to be the role of the buzzards to set the pace - as soon as a bold buzzard touches down, an air raid of red kites rains down to snatch tasty morsels and devour them on the wing.
behaviour and evolution