Red kites accused of ‘annihilating’ other birds

The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association is calling for a government probe to investigate the impact of reintroduced red kites in Galloway, following claims that the kites are ‘annihilating’ other birds, including lapwings, oystercatchers and sand martins.

Unsurprisingly, the claims have been made by a farmer, a pigeon racer and a gamekeeper.

Alex Hogg said: “I think everyone would agree that protection of one species, when it is to the detriment of others, is a flawed way to achieve ecological balance“. Er, what, like the protection of 40 million exotic pheasants and unnaturally-high populations of red grouse to the detriment of buzzards, kites, harriers, sparrowhawks, goshawks, eagles, peregrines, owls, corvids, foxes, stoats, weasels? How about a government probe into that?

Hopefully the SGA’s request will be met with the same contempt the Scottish Government gave to their earlier request to evaluate the risk to small children posed by reintroduced sea eagles.

SGA’s article on the red kite ‘problem’ here.

13 thoughts on “Red kites accused of ‘annihilating’ other birds”

  1. Having once watched a pair of Lapwings, those masters of the sky, break both wings of a Carrion Crow that was trying to steal their eggs, I personally find the whole idea that Kites could be capable of annihilating this species utterly laughable!

    As for them being up to catching large numbers of Sand Martins ….. give me a break.

    Do these people think we are all idiots?

  2. I have read many pieces of fiction over the years, some good, some not so good, but this SGA article has to top the list of nonsense fiction. Full of contradictions, propagandist guff and blatant lies all in an attempt to persuade the government to allow them to control Red Kites (are there any raptors that the SGA don’t want to control?).

    In my opinion, “conservationist” farmer James Mair has either been heavily misquoted or he is a downright liar. He argues that the the food from the feeding station is insufficient, the kites are then going hungry and have now resorted to feeding 24 hours a day! It could be that my mind is warped and twisted, but surely if the feeding was to stop, then such adept killers would wreak even more havoc on the local wildlife? The Lapwing numbers don’t seem to add up either. He mentions that breeding Lapwing numbers at their peak were upwards of 250. Now if that was 125 pairs of birds each with a minimum of three chicks, that would be at least 375 chicks. Now, perhaps it is just me, but I would seriously question the statement that Red Kites were responsible for killing a minimum of 375 Lapwing chicks in 30 minutes. Misquoted or deliberate lies? I’ll leave you to decide. There is also the other issue of Barn Owl chick and the attack on the sheepdog. Now, I’m not saying these events didn’t happen, but I have a feeling that the chances of me sprouting a pair of wings and flying off into the sky above are much higher. Regarding the Barn Owl, perhaps he should do some analysis on any pellets he can find and he might just find some Lapwing chick remains here.

    It would appear that pigeon fancier Neil Black has also been misquoted or has chosen to issue a deliberate lie regarding the kites. Two kites are supposed to have been responsible for a tag-team attack on a Peregrine, forcing the falcon to relinquish its grip on a pigeon, the pigeon then being eaten by the kites. Again, I’m not saying that it didn’t happen but I just can’t see a relatively timid raptor attacking a Peregrine in such a way. However, I am prepared to be informed that that this can and does happen.

    I think it is time for the RSPB to distance itself from the royal charter, enabling it to speak out about the devastating impacts shooting estates have on our native wildlife. In fact, distancing itself from the entire parasite family could only be a good thing.

  3. Having just last week returned from Galloway (including a bit of the “Red Kite trail”) It didn’t seem to me there was any shortage of Sand Martins where I was. Nor have I seen, ever, so many House Martins either. Lapwings seemed to have suffered in numbers more, I think, to the wet spring weather than anything else – apart from the depredations of the crow family. I wrote in a previous post of how my pair of Lapwings lost all three chicks to a veritable holocaust of hoodies. Oystercatchers? naw, don’t see it myself either. Do we have any such reports from around Ardgaty? And who will rebutt this piece of nonsense…………………..officially and impartially?


  4. Rumour has it that SGA are allegedly one and the same as the flat earth society. Levels of fiction versus factual content in their writings could provide a leading indication?

  5. Here we go again, the same old victorian values being spouted by the S.G.A. I do, however, have some sympathy with the opinion that the Kites should be encouraged to disperse naturaly, I would like to see them more evenly spread all over the country. If there weren’t so many ‘sporting estates’ south of Inverness, maybe I would see kites where I live, enabling them, without being shot or poisoned, to disperse naturaly from the Black Isle.

    Again an unlucky pigeon fancier losing 18 young birds this year, I haven’t lost 18, from around the loft, in 12 years!

    1. Its wonderfully ironic that the Kites have put Dornell on the map…..if you look at the estates instructions on how to find your way there…the feeding station is a named navigation point to help you get there!

  6. It’s not the first time red kites have come under fire in this area. In 2003, three red kites were found poisoned in Laurieston. All three had been killed by Carbofuran. In a follow-up search in the area, two poisoned sparrowhawks were discovered, along with two poisoned woodpigeon baits. Carbofuran, of course. No prosecutions, of course.

    None of the published reports name the farmer on whose land the poisoned sparrowhawks and baits had been discovered, of course.

    1. There are some others from the Laurieston/Castle Douglas area documented in this report.

      03117 Three Red Kites and two Buzzards Castle Douglas Chloralose No prosecution
      03156 One Red Kite Laurieston Carbofuran No prosecution

      So that would be 7 Red Kites, 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Buzzards all illegally poisoned in 2003 and all in the Laurieston/Castle Douglas area. Of course, there would have been many more illegal shootings, trappings and beatings to add to this. I would love to know if any of these incidents occurred on land owned by “conservationist” farmer, James Mair.

      It is interesting to learn that out of a total of 36 investigations (30 involving the police), that very few reached the courts and out of those only one was found guilty, with the criminal receiving a slap on the wrist. Bearing in mind that these incidents all deal with substances that could prove lethal to humans, it would be fair to say that our judicial system is corrupt. It would also be interesting to get figures for all other types of serious crime and compare the percentages of those police-investigated incidents that resulted in a successful prosecution. I have a feeling that it will be much higher than 1 in 30.

  7. “I think everyone would agree that protection of one species, when it is to the detriment of others, is a flawed way to achieve ecological balance.”

    Rich coming from an industry that decimates anything that even looks in the direction of a game bird. Yet another attempt by ” hill bouncers” at raptor control using a theory that is completely without any scientific basis and rooted in prejudice.

    If a gamekeepers grandfather told me it was daylight I would open the curtains to check!!!

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