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Red Kite in mourning plus sailors take warning

September 14, 2007

Apparently, people in Ireland are really good at driving things out of their country. We all know the story about St. Patrick and the snakes, but in the last hundred years the Irish have done a number on raptors too, eradicating Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles (White-tailed?) and Red Kites from the island. Let it not be said they didn’t realize the error of their ways though, all three species are being introduced back into the country with mixed success. But old habits die hard it seems.

One of the 29 kites re-released was found dead by shotgun a couple weeks ago, a big loss to the program. A sad reminder that raptor baiting and hunting still goes on in some part of the world, and certainly the US is not immune. Hopefully they’ll nail the guy(s) that did the shooting. The Red Kite is a great bird and fear of raptors making off with livestock and pets sadly leads to too many deaths, despite the fact that the Red Kite rarely eats anything larger than a meadow vole or at least only a very small child. That last part may not be true.

I’ve got an really exciting weekend of birding lined up. The wife’s out of town so I’m heading out east for two days of birding up the Outer Banks, with a pelagic out of Hatteras scheduled for tomorrow, unless it rains and it might, then Sunday. Pterodromas, shearwaters, storm-petrels, jeagers! Dare I think…Albatross? The mind boggles and the mouth waters at the prospects. And the land birding should be hot too. It’s going to be a blast, look for a full trip report with lots of pictures of middling quality when I return.

One Comment
  1. Jochen permalink
    September 14, 2007 2:23 pm

    I’ll say hello to the Red Kites I’ll be seeing next week (or the week after), and the best of luck on your Pelagic trip. An Albatross? Why not…

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