Red kite joins the Great British Spring Clean by collecting McDonald's cup

Red kite with McDonald's cup in talons

A red kite was photographed in Suffolk over the Easter Bank Holiday with a McDonald's cup between its talons - Credit: Chad Brown

A Suffolk photographer is hoping to raise awareness of the dangers of littering after taking some troubling photographs over the weekend. 

Sudbury-based photographer Chad Brown was snapping a group of red kites, which were once almost extinct in the UK, near Stoke-by-Nayland when he noticed one dive down towards the ground. 

"I watched as one dived down for what I thought was going to be prey," he explained.

"But instead the kite appeared with this McDonald's coffee cup in its claws!"

Red kites have one brood per year and usually lay their eggs in April. Mr Brown suspected that the McDonald's cup had been collected by the kite as part of its nesting process and has called for the public to be more considerate of the local environment and the way they treat it.

Red kite with a McDonald's cup in its talons

Red kites were once on the brink of extinction in the UK and are now a protected species after successfully being re-introduced to England and Scotland - Credit: Chad Brown

Sharing the striking images on Facebook, he said: "Surely this pandemic has reminded us all how important our wildlife and green spaces are, and it would be such a shame for them to be blighted by litter at a time when we need them the most."

Red kite with McDonalds cup in talons

Animal welfare groups and nature conservation organisations regularly remind the public how dangerous littering can be to local wildlife - Credit: Chad Brown

Mr Brown has also urged people to join The Great British Spring Clean, which is supported by the RSPCA as a means to raise awareness of the devastating impact littering has on the environment and its ecosystems and wildlife. 

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