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Local Talkback
Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.

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Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Paul (20th Jan 2019 @ 10:45:05)

Really pleased to see one of the local red kites again this morning, this time over the green near Sainsburys.

I've seen them in Milland quite a bit recently, but not this far north.

And interesting to see every other bird in the area scatter the moment it appeared and take cover!

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Rachel (20th Jan 2019 @ 16:01:03)

Early in the morning, I quite often see a pair circling over the Bohunt Manor Estate.
So majestic and a joy to behold :-)

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- dcb (20th Jan 2019 @ 22:25:18)

5 over Radford Park celebrating the New Year! Wonderful display

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Grant (21st Jan 2019 @ 07:24:07)

I saw Eddie the Eagle at Old Thorns once.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Liphook Community Magazine (21st Jan 2019 @ 08:21:19)

There is an article about Red Kites in the Summer 2018 Edition of the Liphook Community Magazine. Click on 'Community Magazine' on the left of this page

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Tom (22nd Jan 2019 @ 12:35:36)

Nice to see them? Really? Goodbye garden birds

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- liz (22nd Jan 2019 @ 13:43:11)

Red Kites eat mostly carrion, live food is mainly earthworms and small mammals. Small birds are too agile for them apparently.

A reminder : It's the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend for those interested!

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Rölli (22nd Jan 2019 @ 14:27:39)

Tom, please get your facts right

from RSPB

"They are opportunistic hunters and they feed mostly on dead animals. They do capture some live prey, such as young gulls and crows and small rodents, but the most common live prey they eat is earthworms. "Small birds are generally too quick and agile for red kites to catch.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Andy (12th Feb 2019 @ 22:31:46)

They nest down the Portsmouth road towards the back of the links. Truly beautiful sight in the morning.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Andi (2nd Mar 2019 @ 20:00:23)

I witnessed a pair flying out the back of Radford Park last weekend and we witnessed them again this afternoon over Malthouse Meadows - gorgeous birds

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- BT (3rd Mar 2019 @ 09:04:07)

I see them most days from my kitchen window which faces south west on the edge of Liphook. On one of the hot days last weekend I saw ( and heard ) 3 but whether that was one kite and two buzzards I could not be sure as my binoculars are not powerful enough.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Helen (3rd Mar 2019 @ 21:04:56)

Think that garden birds have more to fear from the amount of domestic cats around hée. One of my neighbours has six

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Andy (24th Mar 2019 @ 01:35:42)


They nest over towards the back of the field at the Links. I normally se them fluffing their feathers before taking off most mornings (around 7am) they are so beautiful and really flourishing again.
The best show is normally round 3pm on a good warm summers day and they love climbing the thermals. I’ll try and get some pictures of them next time I spot them.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- CB (7th Apr 2019 @ 00:33:57)

Please look after your small pets & dogs. On Saturday 6th April a red kite swooped down into our garden and attempted to take our small dog. Thankfully I was in the garden at the time and managed to scare it off. It appears that they do not feed only off carrion as I had thought.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- A (7th Apr 2019 @ 08:46:48)

Are you sure it wasn't Buzzards?
There were 3 of them flying low yesterday. They were circling around fighting each other

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- CB (7th Apr 2019 @ 08:55:42)

100% it was a red kite.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Tom (7th Apr 2019 @ 19:32:31)

They eat meat and are raising chicks. However many worms do the birdaholics think a kite would eat to get that big?! Don't believe everything you read - use sense

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- lac (7th Apr 2019 @ 21:51:01)

I can assure one of the previous posters that Red Kites would only make off with a small dog if it was dead. There are no recorded instances of any Red Kite ever taking a live small pet. They do feed off carrion. They are big spectacular birds and if one swooped down into a garden where your dog was, it would only be interested in the dogs bone or food in the dog bowl NOT the dog, no matter how small. In the Aylesbury area, where they are common, householders put out food for the Kites and are treated to the spectacular sight of them attending the bird table.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- CB (8th Apr 2019 @ 16:52:14)

Thank you IAC for taking the time to reply.
You post is very reassuring. However, I will be watching my pups like a hawk - if you’ll pardon the pun whilst they are in the garden from now on.
I have been informed that due to the surge in the kite population, they have diversified in to hunting live prey which they then drop from a height to kill. This is exactly what happened to a small Yorkshire terrier fairly recently in Binsted near Alton.
I’m sure it’s very rare but it’s best to be aware.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Rob (8th Apr 2019 @ 20:03:08)

I have witnessed them taking live lambs.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- RA (8th Apr 2019 @ 21:47:32)


I used to live near Stokenchurch, not far from where the Red Kite repopulation initiative project started.

We used to walk our dogs regularly along the Chiltern Hills where the Red Kites were prolific.

One of our family's dog walking friends had their (very) small Yorkshire terrier carried off by a Red Kite. Thankfully it was found later on that day, quite a few hundred yards away from where it was snatched. Luckily it was alive but very hurt.

I have seen Red Kites take live prey (in my case a pigeon that was sitting in a tree), although they do mostly eat carrion.

I don't wish to start a panic around the village, but I thought it was only responsible to warn people who own small pets of the risks that Red Kites can pose, even though such incidents are rare.

Below is a link to a video of a slightly bigger bird of prey attacking a family pet. The owner luckily saved their pet but the video is a good demonstration of the threat that Red Kites can be.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- CB (9th Apr 2019 @ 07:24:33)

Thank you for your reply. It was very helpful.
I, like yourself, do not want to cause any unnecessary panic but think it’s worth making people with small pets aware of potential hazards even if the risk is small.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Paul (9th Apr 2019 @ 09:32:18)

The video posted probably needs something of a health warning! I'd assumed it related to red kites in the UK, maybe even in the South. It's about a hawk attacking a small dog in Las Vegas, Nevada …

So not directly relevant to red kites in Liphook but still a reminder to owners of small pets etc.

I believe it's well documented that most encounters where a predator attacks in residential / semi-residential areas it's down to human / development encroachment on their territory forcing them to adapt, not the other way round?

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- lac (11th Apr 2019 @ 09:11:37)

I reiterate again that Red kites only take carrion. Misinformation about "small dogs" being snatched (or livestock) is one of the reasons they were persecuted and wiped out in this country originally.

There are plenty of buzzards around Liphook and they do hunt small animals. There have been NO properly documented cases (i.e. observed by someone who knows what a red kite actually looks like) of a kite taking anything larger than an injured mouse!

If concerned readers want to post "eye witness accounts" please ensure the beast concerned is actually a red kite and not a Buzzard or a sparrow hawk. As for the nonsense about seeing a red kite snatching a pigeon sat in a tree, words fail me. Even sparrow hawks find it difficult to hunt these fast moving birds.

A Red Kite is large with a 6 ft wingspan, distinctive ruddy brown feathers and has a very distinctive forked tail. Buzzards, which I suspect they are being confused with, are also large but have brown feathers, some white on their wings under surface and have a flat wedge shaped tail.

PLEASE ensure the bird is correctly identified before posting small dogs snatched posts. NO small dog is at risk from Red Kites. Be more wary if Buzzards are about as they are active predators and will take sickly lambs, small dogs or rabbits.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- RA (11th Apr 2019 @ 17:08:17)

@ lac

I'm sorry that the incidents that CB and I have actually experienced directly contradict what you have read, but the truth of the matter is that these occurrences involving Red Kites really happened.

As for the correct identification of a Red Kite... I can't vouch for CB's ornithological knowledge or ability to accurately distinguish a Red Kite from a Buzzard or other birds of prey, but I have nearly 3 decades of experience. Having lived most of my life in the area of the UK where Red Kites were reintroduced in the late ‘80s, I'm more than capable of distinguishing them from Buzzards. It's relatively easy to tell the two apart when you are familiar with both species.

I believe that CB is being responsible by warning other pet owners of the risk, and I can verify that he or she has a 100% valid reason for doing so.

Here is an interesting column in a recent newspaper article that touches on the subject, for anyone who wishes to learn more.

The following BBC article from 2011 mentions chickens being carried off by Red Kites. The article also reports that pupils at a college in Watlington, were told not to eat their lunches in the playing fields because the birds swarmed around and a student was reported to have been scratched by a Red Kite attempting to grab food from his hand.

So I'm very sorry lac... your information is wrong. Red Kites don't ONLY take carrion, as you claim, but they are indeed a threat (even though the problem occurs very rarely) to small pets.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- CB (11th Apr 2019 @ 17:18:01)

Thanks Iac

However, I reiterate - it was 100% a red kite and not a buzzard or sparrow hawk that swooped down towards our small dog.
Myself, my husband and son all witnessed it and we do know what a red kite looks like - especially when it’s only a few metres away.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Rob (11th Apr 2019 @ 19:53:11)

Stop being so condescending lac. As a farmer, I have personally seen lambs being taken by red kites. End of. Sorry if this doesn't agree with your Observer's Book of Birds, but there it is

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Bush (12th Apr 2019 @ 05:46:06)

I'm sorry Rob, could you please explain and expand of 'lambs being taken by red kites'?
Are you suggesting the kites have lifted the lambs into the air and flew off with them?
Or kites were eating live lambs?

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Rob (12th Apr 2019 @ 14:55:00)

They don't carry off whole lambs, but they do rip open sickly lambs still alive

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- lac (13th Apr 2019 @ 11:37:00)

I seem to have stirred up the "seen with my own eyes" evidence based brigade. Hopefully they don't also belong to the I've seen a ghost or aliens crowd. Maybe the Daily Mail can also become involved with providing such "evidence".
I'm afraid such "eye witness" accounts are not a source of reliable information. Red kites feed on dead (or nearly dead) food. They will swoop down if they see any food or the prospect of food. Indeed a recent Oxfordshire based story asks people not to feed them as they quickly associate humans with food provision and most people would be rightly scared by a huge bird trying to grab a sandwich. However on to the vex question of "lamb taking". I assume not all Red Kites have full medical training to assess whether the sickly (presumably comatose) lamb is still alive or not. I don't think they are going wait for good food to go cold before an exploratory peck. If the lamb is so sick it attracts a predator, I doubt whether "Supervet" would save it. A healthy lamb will easily avoid the attention of most predators including Red Kites. I'll get my Obsevers book of Lambs and other cuddly animals, to check if they are under any other threat from our wildlife. PS as for small dogs a quick nip by even the smallest dog will see off a predator, even large humans!

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Rob (13th Apr 2019 @ 14:44:03)

I'll save you the bother lac. Ravens (none here, but a bit further west in Wales) will peck at the eyes of ewes while they are giving birth. Foxes will take a lamb as it is coming out of its mother. No. Hang on. That can't be right. Chris Packham doesn't agree.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Charlie (13th Apr 2019 @ 15:57:43)


The RSPB, say on their website the following “Mainly carrion and worms, but opportunistic and will occasionally take small mammals”

Presumably you will now wish to argue with them.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- Finchie (13th Apr 2019 @ 18:12:46)

I suspect the red kites are more pissed off with humans than we are of them. They were here first.

Probably thinking, “first they put a supermarket where our home was, now a tattooist. And I bet the tattooist is going to focus on eagles and not red kites. Life is just not fair !”

They’ll be eating far fewer garden birds than domesticated cats ! How ironic.

Creatures of beauty.

Happy Weekend !

Cheers, Finchie

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- lac (16th Apr 2019 @ 18:28:37)

Alas, small mammals are mouse/vole size not rabbit/small dog size. They are indeed opportunistic predators. If you are fortunate enough to see ploughing where there is a red kite population, you will see as many as 30 wheeling around and following the plough, seizing dead/injured worms, mice, voles etc. They certainly scare away the local seagulls and crows who usually follow the plough. Happy kite watching to all. They are magnificent birds and deserve success in our increasingly species deficient country.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- H (17th Apr 2019 @ 12:38:27)

Clearly this sort of thing is incredibly rare. She's possibly lying or exaggerating but at the same time, it's not beyond the realms of possibility for a big bird to go after what may look like a tiny lamb from a distance.

Re: Red Kite over Liphook (20 Jan 19)
- lac (19th Apr 2019 @ 10:08:48)

Lets hope Red Kites continue to do well and more of the public learn to appreciate that wildlife, treated with respect, is usually not dangerous. On a change of subject, our local Cuckoos (Weavers Down/Woolmer Ranges) have yet to appear. It's a little early and maybe the current southerly winds will bring them back. If you hear one, please let Talkback know. The habitat of their host birds was disrupted by motor cyclists using the the area as a race track. Thankfully they have now been chased away and the ranges military police are keeping a watchful eye in case any return. Cuckoos have an amazing story to tell and return to their breeding area year after year after travelling from Africa. They are a highly vulnerable species. The current climate change protesters are missing a key point in their worries for the future. Human destruction of ecosystems by over fishing, over farming and destruction of habit is much more serious. Current farming methods are destroying wildlife. Many of you will have noticed the lack of insects splattered on your car after a journey. In the 80s, a car after a long journey would be coated in dead insects. Not now. Surely that's a good thing say car owners? Not really. It shows insects are becoming scarce and with it the food source of much wildlife. So what? Our ecosystem is interelated and mutually dependent. The inadvertent destruction of parts of the ecosystem has a knock on effect. Think twice before spraying your garden with insecticides and applaud farmers who are trying to minimise chemical usage. We weep over Orangutans and Elephant destruction but in the UK we are presiding over our very own wildlife destruction, but its not cute and cuddly for the most part. Do your bit for wildlife. Cut small holes in the bottom of your fence so Hedgehogs can roam and feed. Minimise chemical usage on your garden, including slug pellets! Have "wild " areas of the garden. Buy sustainable products. Every little helps!

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