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NEWS RELEASE No: 1354530 APRIL 2010

The big red kite switch on

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red kite flying

Rangers at the Forestry Commissions Top Lodge visitor centre, near Corby have switched on the red kite nest cam, just in time for visitors to enjoy over this bank holiday weekend.

Following the successful filming of a pair of nesting red kites last year, the rangers have once again identified a suitable nesting spot from which, live and rare footage of these birds can be beamed directly onto screens within the visitors centre. 

Forestry Commission community ranger Cheryl Joyce said: “We are so excited to be able to offer visitors the fantastic opportunity to see, these beautiful birds in their natural habitat.  Using a secretly located ‘nest-cam’ enables us to give a glimpse into what it is like living in a red kite nest.”

This year’s parents are sitting on a total of three eggs and once hatched, the chicks should stay in the nest for about seven weeks, until they start flying.  It is hoped that filming will include the hatching of the chicks, feeding and ‘branching’ which will see the birds wandering around on the branches of trees near to the nest.

Head wildlife ranger, Karl Ivens continued:

“While we are able to speculate what visitors may get to see, because footage is live, it’s very dependent upon how the birds are feeling on the day.  It is this element that makes the project so interesting, as no two days are ever the same, which is why it is definitely worth a visit to see firsthand the story unfold.”

Dependent on food until they are about 10 weeks old, the chicks mainly eat food that is already dead (carrion), however they have been known to enjoy the odd discarded sandwich.  The birds also like to decorate their nests, using a variety of items which in the past have included plastic bags and bottles, terry towels, a plastic doll, string, paper towels, rags and even items of underwear!

Visitors specifically wanting to see the nest, are advised to ring the RSPB first on 01780 444691, open every day between 10am and 5pm. 

Red kites were re-introduced in 1995 and today more than 800 of these fork-tailed birds, whose wing-spans can reach up to 65 inches (165cm), fly free across the regions sky.

About the Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests, and increasing their value to society and the environment.  Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive woodlands.  Further information about the Commission can be found at

Northants Forest District runs from Grantham in Lincolnshire right down to Ampthill in Bedfordshire, taking in many beautiful and varied woodlands.

For more information contact Sarah Walker on 01780 444920 or email