At the start of the Northern Kites Project all of the released birds, ninety four kites from 2004 to 2006 were fitted with wing-tags and radio-transmitters to assist in monitoring their activities and progress, not least to locate and identify them if they moved to other areas or if they were injured or dead. Since then a small proportion of kites born in the wild are ringed and wing tagged annually. There is a UK-wide wing-tag colour coding system, details of which are shown on the accompanying chart below. The colour of the tag on the left wing indicates where it was tagged, whilst the right-wing tag colour shows the year of tagging. Each tag has a coloured band across it, showing the colour of the tag on the other wing. In addition, nowadays, the tags on each bird show an alpha numeric combination –a letter and a number. A clear reading of one tag would produce sufficient information to identify the bird. For example: a pink tag tag showing ‘H5’ and with an orange band at the bottom would indicate a north east of England bird tagged in 2014. Wing-tagging has revealed the presence of a number of birds from other areas which have settled and bred in north east, whilst birds either released in the north east of England, or reared in nests here, are known to have bred in Yorkshire, Dorset and Perthshire.
The radio transmitters that were fitted to the birds in the release phase operated on different frequencies, enabling the progress of newly released birds to be monitored. This was particularly useful in those early years following their release. Each transmitter was fitted with a sensing device which altered the pulse-rate of the signal according to whether the bird was either perched (slow pulse) or flying/feeding/dead (fast pulse). By this means it could be established that a bird was active without it actually being seen. They have an effective lifespan of two and a half years. Having transmitters on them has enabled a number of dead kites to be located, several of which had died through feeding on illegal poison baits.
Ringing and wing tagging was carried out on the 14th June .....
Only one day’s ringing and wing tagging of red kite chicks was possible this year and this took place on the 16thJune.................
Ringing and wing tagging took place on the 8th, 11th and 22nd June.
Ringing and wing tagging took place on the 14th and 17th June. Satellite tags were fitted to two of the chicks.