Page last updated at 23:34 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 00:34 UK

Historic red kite chicks for CCTV

Red kite chicks [Pic: RSPB]

Red kite chicks have hatched in Aberdeenshire for the first time in almost 150 years.

At least three have hatched, and the public are being offered the chance to watch two in a nest via new CCTV viewing points.

The chicks are being raised by birds released two years ago as part of a red kite re-introduction project.

The images can be seen at both Easter Anguston Farm near Culter, and St Nicholas Kirk in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen Red Kites is a three-year project to reintroduce kites to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Thirty birds were released in 2007, 35 in 2008, and dozens more will be released this July. Many of the birds have been named by schools and local business.

'Fingers crossed'

Jenny Lennon, the Aberdeen Red Kites project officer, said: "It's fantastic to see our recently re-introduced birds raising their first chicks.

Red kite. Picture courtesy of the RSPB
Red kites were once common all over the British Isles

"Being new parents they still have a lot to do to make sure their chicks successfully fledge, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that they'll make it."

CCTV pictures from a nest are being beamed in association with Forestry Commission Scotland.

RSPB staff and volunteers will be at Easter Anguston Farm, off the North Deeside Road, at the weekends from 1000 BST to 1600 BST, and on Thursdays and Fridays from 1200 BST to 1600 BST at St Nicholas Kirk.

The public will be able to see the nest pictures until the chicks fledge and leave the nest in mid July.

Red kites were once common all over the British Isles, before widespread killings in Victorian times led to just a few pairs surviving.

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