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Half of Kielder's osprey chicks didn't survive the weather

25/07/2012 11:59:15

The three surviving osprey chicks are ringed by the Forestry Commission ornithologist Martin Davison in Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland.

Ospreys in Kielder Forest ringed
July 2012. Rare English ospreys may have defied the dismal summer weather, but cold conditions and record rainfall have still taken their toll.

Three chicks ringed
Two osprey chicks which hatched just before the Jubilee weekend - and dubbed Jubilee Jack and Queenie - have been ringed by Forestry Commission experts in 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Kielder Water & Forest Park. The sole surviving chick on the second nest in the Northumbrian wilderness - given the name of Olympia - has also been ringed.

Three chicks died in bad weather
A record breaking six chicks hatched in Kielder this year, however, three succumbed to the elements, which also blighted the breeding season for other rare birds, including goshawks.

But Rangers remain upbeat. Forestry Commission Wildlife Ranger Philip Spottiswood explained: "We have maintained our record of producing three osprey chicks each year since 2009 when the bird began to breed again in Northumberland for the first time in at least 200 years. Despite the conditions, the chicks ringed this year are very healthy and we expect them all to fledge in the next few weeks. Given the dreadful weather that is a tremendous result."

Expanding Scottish population
Duncan Hutt, from Northumberland Wildlife Trust, added: "The species was extinct in England until recently, but Kielder together with the Lake District has been naturally re-colonised. A big factor has been the expanding Scottish population and also the erection of special nesting platforms near Northumbrian Water's Kielder Water, which offers perfect hunting grounds for trout."

Kielder Osprey Watch 2012 is organised by the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. 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.

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