Mayenne: the white kite takes advantage of global warming to breed in France

In Mayenne, he is now at home. The white kite, this small raptor (about 35 cm) with elegant plumage, which can also be recognized thanks to its surprising hovering flight, spotted the place in 2012, coming from Africa, after a detour via Spain and the Basque country. And today, it nests and reproduces there. “Ten years ago, we spotted a couple, says Benoît Duchenne, one of the managers of the Mayenne nature environment association (MNE). In 2021, we counted eight of them and today nearly 60 individuals are listed. In one year, that’s huge! »

He practices food opportunism

But why does this rare and protected bird, like all raptors, make its nest here? “The acceleration of global warming, replies Benoît Duchenne. The white kite finds ideal conditions here. In a few years, the climate has moved 250 km to the north. He followed. Mayenne is its northernmost region. But it is predisposed to conquer other spaces. Because he practices food opportunism. “It feeds on voles, specifies Benoît Duchenne. If their population increases somewhere, he reappears. »

The White Kite defends its territory at all costs, including against other raptors. “He always wins, assures Benoît Duchenne. However, it is harmless to humans. We get attached to it. For an ornithologist, it’s a chance to be able to observe it like that. It is a note of hope at a time when biodiversity is threatened. »

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