Red kites start their own blog

bloggingbirdsRed kites in Scotland have started their own blog….sort of.

In a fascinating new project, the information provided by satellite tags fitted to red kites is being interpreted and transposed by a computer programme and then automatically published in the form of a blog post on the project website.

The project, called ‘Blogging Birds’, is a collaboration between scientists at the RSPB and computer geek types at the University of Aberdeen. It’s brilliant! At the moment there are four red kites ‘blogging’ – you can read about their daily and weekly movements and view maps to see where they’ve been. Take note, English Nature, this is the level of information you could / should be providing about tagged hen harriers instead of just giving us a wall of silence.

Check out the Blogging Birds website here. You’ll notice that all four of the current kites have been flying dangerously close to some well-known persecution blackspots. Wouldn’t it be cool if they could automatically blog “Help! I’ve been poisoned! I’ve been shot! I’m caught inside a crow cage trap and there’s a man approaching with a shotgun in his hand! I’m caught by the leg in an illegally set trap and I’m about to have my head smashed in by a man with a shinty stick!”.

Kudos to the organisations and individuals involved – the more the public can see what happens to these birds, the better.

4 Responses to “Red kites start their own blog”

  1. August 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    How long before we can put cameras on birds of prey, downloading live data, so we can really catch the criminals. Maybe one day.

  2. August 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Hopefully the blogs do not help the guns find the Kites.

    On a different note, a bird-blog is a really cool idea. There are some birds that I know of (Sandhill Cranes – not raptors) already being tracked by satellite in our area (Vancouver, BC, Canada) for which this might be a nice add-on.

    By the way, I enjoy your blog despite its subject matter – it is very enlightening. I saw the RSPB article on the Hen-Harrier’s breeding failure in England, which led me to ‘Glorious Twelfth’ which led me to a whole bunch of “facsinating” stuff on grouse-hunting which eventually led me to Raptor Persecution Scotland.


    [Ed: thanks Kevin, and welcome!]

  3. 3 Tony Warburton MBE
    August 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you RP. This is fantastic – and how I agree with your comment to Natural England. How can we ensure they read it?

  4. 4 Chris Roberts
    August 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Fantastic, well done to all concerned.

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