In 2021, two successful Red Kite nests were found in SW-Drenthe, each fledging three young. Nest sites were occupied in mid-February. The first eggs were laid in late March (back-calculated from maximum wing chord of oldest chicks) and hatched early May. Young fledged between 16 July and 3 August. Parents were recorded at the nest site until 12 July and 14 September respectively. The post-fledging period varied from 18 to 35 days per nest. Two young (one per nest) were equipped with a GPS transmitter. Post-fledging dispersal of one chick led to NW- en Central France where it stayed for two months. The other chick flew via Antwerp to West-Germany where it stayed for 2.5 months. In October both migrated to the wintering area in SW-France and NW-Spain. In May-July, 121 prey items were collected via prey remains collected on/near nests (n=28) and in pellets (n=49), mostly mammals, predominantly voles/mice, hares and moles (63%, n=76) and birds (34%, n=41 in 11 species, probably some of which taken from a nearby nesting Goshawk). Adults moulted between early May (when eggs had hatched) and July (when chicks had fledged). Between start of moult and departure from the breeding place, adults replaced primaries 1 to 6 (strictly descendantly). Except for one male all three adults moulted all or some rectrices during the same period of time. Elsewhere in Drenthe, no breeding cases or clearly defined territories have been registered, despite intensive fieldwork and a number of observations of solitary and duo Red Kites (often in 2nd or 3rd calender-year) in likely breeding haunts.

De Takkeling

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Werkgroep Roofvogels Nederland

A. J. van Dijk, F. Bijmold, D. van der Helden, E. Holleman, B. de Nijs, H. Talen, & C. de Vries. (2022). Broedgevallen van Rode Wouwen Milvus milvus in Drenthe in 2021. De Takkeling, 30(1), 61–70.