Mounted specimen of a red kite. Red kites are birds of prey whose diet includes mice, voles, shrews and rabbits. They grow up to 70cm high with a maximum wingspan of 1.79m. When flying, they are recognisable by their large size, red-brown colour and distinctive forked tail. Red kites were a protected species in medieval times, as they kept the streets free of rotting food, but by the 1870s had been hunted to extinction in England. Successfully re-introduced in recent years, they can again be seen in Kent, including on the white cliffs near Folkestone.