Red kite feeders needed for University research
09 March 2023
Reading has long been known as a town of red kite lovers - and a team of researchers want to know if that is still the case so they can learn more about the birds of prey.
To better understand the impacts feeding red kites has on the birds, humans, and the environment, Wellcome Trust-funded researchers from the University of Reading and the University of Roehampton are investigating red kite feeding trends in the town.
The research team wants to interview residents who feed red kites to learn about the birds’ health and feeding habits which informs the researchers about conservation efforts, the effects of feeding, and more.
Juliette Waterman, a University of Reading research student, said: “Red kites were extinct in England before they were reintroduced in 1989. Since then, research tells us that Reading loves red kites. A 2015 study estimated that up to one in twenty households said they had fed red kites, meaning more than 140 red kites were fed each day.
“It’s been eight years since that study and we want to know what’s changed since then - are residents still feeding red kites on the same scale? Are people more or less favourable towards red kites now than they were in 2015?
“You can help us answer these questions and find out more about our relationships with red kits by taking part in our survey.”
People who feed red kites or have done so in the past and who are interested in being interviewed can take part in the survey by clicking here. The researchers will contact participants soon afterwards.