If this article is to be believed it seems breeding programmes to reintroduce red kites to parts of the UK have met with some success. There are now though to be around 1,800 pairs of red kites in the UK which is encouraging news, particularly as they were almost hunted to extinction in Victorian times. There was thought to be just a handful of breeding pairs remaining by the 1960s, however, a programme to reintroduce the birds was started 20 years ago. This along with the fact that there is more food for the birds due to many local councils collecting rubbish less often appears to have helped their numbers. The birds are mainly scavengers, eating small animals and discarded food so are greatly helped by areas with overflowing wheelie bins and black bin sacks which are easy for them to break into.