A date with record breaking ospreys

19.07.2011

STOP PRESS! Two chicks found in the new nest - both healthy.

Tree climbing rangers clambered up a tall Sitka spruce to pay a house call on an historic brood of ospreys. They have ringed two chicks born to proud and record breaking parents in Kielder Water & Forest Park.

The nest is the second in the 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Northumbrian wilderness, but it makes Kielder the only place in England for over 170 years to have two osprey families at the same time. Until now all the observations of the nest had been made from a distance as the Forestry Commission was keen not to disturb the
birds. Now it can be revealed that two birds were found.

Both chicks were gently lowered from the nest to have rings attached to their legs. Mum kept watch from a nearby tree. Rings carry vital information like where and when the birds were born. Because they can be read over a distance using a telescope, it′s the best chance of finding out what becomes of the young birds in the big wide world.

In a few weeks the chicks should fledge and start a crash course learning from Dad how to hunt for fish on Kielder Water. And they won′t be alone as Kielder′s other osprey nest has also produced a chick, ringed later in the day by rangers.

By September the youngsters need to be able to fend for themselves - a 3,000 mile winter migration to Africa beckons.

Kielder Osprey Watch 2011 is organised by the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, the RSPB and Northumberland Wildlife Trust. The partners are working hard to ensure that the ospreys are here to stay by maintaining a high quality habitat in Kielder Water & Forest Park and safeguarding and monitoring the nest site.

Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.

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