THE article titled ‘Red kites are turning pests’ (Oxford Mail, February 2) is a misrepresentation of the facts behind these magnificent birds’ rise in numbers.

Firstly, red kites are not predatory towards other living animals and birds, although they will, when hungry, eat worms or large beetles, often found in village properties where horses are kept (eg dung beetles).

These birds generally feed on carrion like dead birds or rabbits.

Despite Reading University encouraging and operating a feeding survey, I cannot see the public putting out meat carcasses along with normal garden bird food.

My suspicions are that the gamebird rearing fraternity fear the kites will be taking their fledglings from their breeding land.

This is an ill-informed implication, that caused the disappearance of the kites in the first place.

With the abolition of much crop spraying, natural food for the kites is more readily available. Red kites are fine, if left alone by a misinformed public.

The reintroduction programmes have done their part in bringing numbers back to a sustainable level.

Now it’s time to let nature control the numbers.

ADRIAN TAYLOR Thames Court Eynsham