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WATCH: Bird of prey attacks father in garden

A red kite swooped down and knocked over a man from Yateley, as he stood in his garden with his young daughter

 

A father has spoken of being attacked by a large bird of prey, which knocked him off his feet in his back garden.

The Yateley man, who wished to remain anonymous, was with his five-year-old daughter when the red kite swooped down at them.

Following the incident on April 21, he is warning families to be wary of what some people have since described as a red kite flying around the Meon Close area of Yateley.

He said: “I saw a bird flying low over the houses, when all of a sudden it swooped down, opened its wings and went for me and my daughter.

“It went into me and knocked me over and then flew away. I have seen it again since then, landing on nearby roofs. They obviously scavenge for food but we were just standing in the garden when it attacked us.

“I don’t want someone getting hurt by this thing.

“Looking at the size of its wings, it could take kittens or rabbits and, God forbid, injure children.”

The man and his daughter were unscathed, but he wanted to warn families, especially those planning barbecues this summer, to be wary of the invader.

He managed to film the moment the large bird knocked into him.

Sightings of red kites have been reported in the area by a number of people, including Samantha Lye who lives near Shepherds Meadow in Sandhurst.

She often sees a pair of red kites flying low over her garden eyeing up her hens, but her pets have never been attacked.

She said: “My hens have a scared call they make and they run for shelter and the kites fly off. Kites are usually scavengers but maybe they are getting brave,” she said.

Another Sandhurst resident, Susan Chivers, said: “I have seen a few red kites recently – beautiful birds.

“I am surprised to hear of someone getting attacked.”

Alison Hewitt said red kites were nesting now so would be “quite defensive of their patches”.

Angie Lonsdale from Farnborough, said: “I have seen one or two flying around. Last year one flew down towards my little dog so I picked him up.

“It looks like we were luckier than we thought.”

The RSPB South East stressed that red kites are not a danger to people.

A spokesman for the bird charity said: “A graceful bird of prey, the red kite is slightly larger than a buzzard with a reddish brown body with dark streaks and a long forked tail.

“They breed and nest in small or medium-sized open woodland, sometimes conifer woods and hunt over rolling arable farmland, roads, heathland and grassland.

“They eat carrion, including dead sheep and road kill, but they also hunt live prey during the breeding season, such as rats, mice, voles and rabbits, crows and pigeons.”

Red kites were once common in the UK but were driven to extinction in England and Scotland with only a few remaining in Wales in the early 20th century. They are now legally protected and have recovered after a reintroduction programme which started in 1989.

 

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