Highlands & Islands

Black Isle red kite chicks ate poisoned rats

Red kite. Image: RSPB
Image caption Other red kites from the Black Isle have perished in the past few weeks

Eight young red kites have been found dead or dying in the Black Isle, near Inverness, after being poisoned.

RSPB Scotland said the chicks were thought to have eaten the remains of rats killed using pest control poisons on farms.

A spokesman for the charity said the birds had been due to leave their nests shortly.

He said they had represented nearly 10% of the total kite chick population produced in the Black Isle this year.

Kite conservation efforts on the Black Isle have been hit hard over the past few weeks.

In June, a red kite was found dead at a wind farm which RSPB Scotland had objected to because of concerns the turbines were a threat to rare birds.

The raptor was found at Fairburn wind farm, near Dingwall. Its injuries included fractures and bruising.

Two other kites from the Black Isle have also perished.

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