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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Young red kite takes first flight
Red kite
The project to bring back the birds started in 2004
One of the first red kites to be born in the north-east of England for about 200 years has taken its maiden flight.

The Northern Kites project was started in 2004 to restore a breeding population of the birds to the region.

Last month, the team confirmed there were chicks in a nest at Gateshead's Derwent Valley and on Thursday announced the first flight.

It comes in the same week the final batch of birds to be released in the North East was returned to the wild.

RSPB North East regional director, Andy Bunten, said: "No one ever dreamed the kites would make themselves so at home in the North East so quickly.

"I'm sure this young kite will be just the first of many to be born in the North East. A thriving population of these magnificent birds will soon be soaring throughout the region's skies."




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