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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
Rare birds return after 200 years
Red kite
The red kite has a wing span of up to two metres
Rare birds of prey are nesting in the north-east of England for the first time in 200 years.

At least two pairs of red kites have built nests in Gateshead's Derwent valley after a re-introduction project.

There are now hopes for the birth of the first kite chicks in the region since the reign of George III.

The birds are protected by law and it is an offence to disturb them on the nest, but it is hoped a public viewpoint will soon be provided.

The Northern Kites project was set up two years ago, and so far 60 red kites have been re-introduced into the region, but none have nested so far.

Keith Bowey, the project manager, said: "I am absolutely delighted by this exciting and historic news.

"It is wonderful that kites are nesting at this early stage of the project and that they have chosen to settle close to Gateshead.

"It will be a red-letter day if young kites fly from a north east nest this spring, and this fabulous news bodes very well for the future of red kites in the region."


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