As you might have guessed we like wild life. We love seeing something rare. Having a chance sighting. We like looking for owls on dark nights, the ghostly flash flying past. We saw a fox once, trotting across the motorway near to IKEA once. Of all that we see, our absolute favourite is the Red Kite. It’s a stunning bird of prey. It’s big and graceful. We are so lucky to have some nesting near to us, we see them most days. Every time we see one though, we stop, and watch. Usually we see them circling high in the sky. The males forked tail the only give away as to what it is.
I once had the absolute pleasure of meeting a chap who was on the programme to introduce Red Kites in to the area. He was so animated talking about the birds. You could tell he lived and breathed them! Whilst talking, he was gushing with pride, he was thrilled that I shared a love of the elegant birds, he stopped and looked into the distance a one circling,
“I just wish they didn’t upset people and I wish they didn’t make such stupid mistakes”. He elaborated. There has been number of killings of Red Kites. He said people misunderstood them. They possibly thought the birds were killing animals. Kites are scavengers. They don’t kill, they clear up road kill. There was the other problem. When they see a dead animal on the road, they swoop down for their tea, and some have been killed themselves by on coming cars.
He found the two things very hard to reason. He was trying to educate people, but came across so many barriers. People listened, but then ignored him, he felt. All birds of prey kill, that’s what they do. The Kites brain is wired to eat dead animals, they see the food, their brains go into auto pilot, they circle, the swoop. No matter what the consequence.
My new-found hero was not going to give up. He was heading off to a school to educate about these beautiful creatures. He was not going to give up on them, because he knows the world is a better place for them.
As I drove home, I saw one above our village. It was gliding high, just looking around. The sun caught the redness of its feathers as it swung round, off into the distance.