The Red Kites of Dunstable Downs

Red Kite hovering over Dunstable Downs

Red kites breed in April and they can have as many as five different nests in their territory. They will use the same nests many times and live for an average of 10 years. The success of the Red Kite since their reintroduction has captured the hearts of the British public over the past 28 years. With its beautiful russet colour and aerial acrobatics the Red Kites are second to none.

Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

Unmistakable silhouette

If you're not close enough to see its autumnal coloured feathers and piercing golden eyes, you'll recognise the Red Kite by its unmistakable silhouette. Their fork-like tails twist to help them change direction like a ship's rudder.


The adults are 60 to 70 cm long with a wingspan of nearly two metres. Red Kites are scavengers and engage in ‘kleptoparasitism’ where they steal food from other birds mid-air! The female Red Kites are slightly larger than the males and they pair for life. Red Kites have thrived in Britain since their reintroduction in 1989, especially across the Chilterns. 

Red kite pair for life
Pair of Red Kites at Dunstable Downs Befordshire
Red kite pair for life

Not only are we lucky enough to have Red Kites soaring over Dunstable Downs, we also have Red Kite kites to buy in the shop in the Visitor Centre shop!