Entangled red kite rescued in Stevenage

The tree where the kite was trapped - photo taken by David Barnard

The tree where the kite was trapped - photo taken by David Barnard - Credit: Archant

A YOUNG kite ended up hanging around longer than it wanted when it got stuck in a tree last week.

The red kite, a protected species, got entangled with some cloth, which then got caught on a branch, leaving the bird hanging upside down.

David Hawkins of Stevenage, a birdwatcher and keen fan of the species, discovered the bird at a location south of Stevenage at 7pm on Saturday and alerted Stevenage Fire Service.

He said: “It must have been about 70ft up. They came with ladders and a hydraulic lift but were unable to use them because of the position of the tree and the uneven ground.

“I think it was a fledgling kite that had been the last to leave its nest. They are notorious for taking bits of material and plastic bags for their nests and I think it had one of its ankles entangled in material. As it went to fly it then entangled the fabric on a branch and couldn’t right itself.”

The RSPCA was alerted and rescued the bird of prey on Sunday morning, with the help of tree surgeon Simon Pridmore.

Kate Wright from the RSPCA said: “The fabric had really dug into the leg and the equivalent of its ankle was very swollen but the leg felt intact and not broken. The problem is kites play dead, so they are very difficult to examine as they go all floppy, but we gave him some water straight away, which he took.”

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The bird was taken to Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue in Houghton Regis where it is recovering.

Kate said: “The aim is to release it back into the wild as soon as possible. He has been seen standing on the leg, which is a good sign. The swelling has gone down and he is eating well.”