Manage episode 255644910 series 2248527
Shakespeare mentions kites seven times in his plays, often using the term to reference specific attributes of the bird to describe someone in the story. He'll refer to someone as "a kite" as if that's bad, or other times, he'll use the bird (or 16th century reputation of the bird) to suggest attributes like suspicion:
Although the kite soar with unbloodiebeak? (Henry VI Part II)
In the late 15th century, the King of Scotland decreed kites should be killed whenever possible, and that perspective on kites contrasted starkly with the later role of this unique bird in England, when kites were protected as an asset to London because they ate the vermin. This protection was short lived, however, and by the Tudor period Kites were again regarded as a nuisance to rural farm communities in England and Scotland. There are even surviving records showing that bounties were paid for the carcasses of red kites, as many people sought their extermination as pests. We can see this negative perspective on kites show up in Shakespeare’s plays, as every reference to kites in the works of William Shakespeare are derogatory. As we explore the role--on stage and in life--of the persistent red kite, our guest this week is Lynn Bowser, co-owner at Argaty Red Kites, which is Central Scotland’s only red kite feeding station.