Sat-tagged red kites explore Brave new world

Published on Monday, 26 November 2012 12:30
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

With her striking red plumage and adventurous spirit, it's no wonder staff at RSPB Scotland's Tollie Red Kite Centre near Dingwall have named a young red kite after the flame-haired heroine of Disney/Pixar's film Brave.

Merida, a juvenile red kite, fledged near the centre in July and has since been doing what young red kites do best- exploring.  Now the conservation charity is inviting members of the public to follow Merida's movements on the RSPB Scotland website as part of a project to track the progress of red kites in North Scotland.

After being satellite tagged along with three other kites: Millie, Ruaridh and Wyvis, Merida has been flying in the area close to her natal home. As the birds mature, they will begin to disperse across the country and will eventually set up territories of their own.

Red kites were reintroduced to North Scotland between 1989 and 1994 in order to restore them to their historic range. Conservationists hope that tracking the charismatic birds will raise awareness and understanding of the species.

Brad Chappell of RSPB Scotland, said: "Our Merida is just as bold and adventurous as her on-screen namesake.  After discovering her wings and exploring her local area she headed south to the Cairngorms National Park for a look around down there before heading back to her home range.  The latest data shows that she is on the move again this time investigating Loch Ness.

"We hope to track her movements and that of the other satellite tagged birds and encourage the public to do so as well via the website."

Merida and other red kites can be tracked on the RSPB Scotland website.

Source: ©RSPB


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