The red kite became extinct in Ireland more than 200 years ago, so in 2008 we embarked on the first species reintroduction in Northern Ireland to bring them back. Ten years on, there are now around 20 breeding pairs in Northern Ireland.
It is highly likely the red kite occurred as a breeding bird in Northern Ireland until the mid-18th century. Due to the momentum and experience gained from recent successful reintroductions in England and Scotland, the stage was set for this large-scale species recovery project to be rolled out in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, first in County Wicklow in 2007 and then in County Down in 2008 as it was unlikely red kites would naturally re-colonise here in the near future.
How can I help?
Report red kite sightings
If you see a red kite we would be interested in hearing about your sighting. Sightings where wing tags are read are most helpful, however, even sightings of untagged kites or where the tags could not be read are also useful. Please take note of the date, time and location of your sighting, wing tag colours and markings and what the bird/s were doing and email [email protected]
Check out the educational pack below with lots of fun activities and facts for families and schools.