Saturday, 15 August 2020

Students step indoors to deter birds of prey

Red kite

STUDENTS in Watlington have stopped eating lunch outdoors in order to discourage red kites.

Now the sky over the Love Lane school is practically kite-free at lunchtime.

Conservationists say that people who red kites deliberately are encouraging the birds to snatch food from people who are eating outdoors, which can cause an injury.

The issue was raised at Watlington’s annual parish meeting last year.

Parish councillor Ian Hill said: “We all like the kites but they are getting to be a hazard, particularly for children.

“They are now habituated to assuming humans are going to give them food. Several people have ended up with scratched hands. We can’t let this carry on, we have to do something about it.

“They’ll stay in town and not go out and hunt in the countryside. We don’t want them to be domesticated birds who pick up scraps in town and nothing else.”

Since red kites were introduced to the Chilterns nearly 30 years ago the population has risen dramatically.

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