Rare osprey chicks in Kielder are part of 'a heart-warming success story'
and live on Freeview channel 276
In 2009, the magnificent bird returned to Kielder Forest as a breeding species for first time in at least 200 years.
Since then, they have gone from strength-to-strength, and this year eight chicks will be fitted with harmless identification rings that keep tabs on their progress and shows they were born in England and Wales.
This tag can be read by people using cameras and spotting scopes meaning they can be tracked through their lives.
Joanna Dailey, osprey co-ordinator with Forestry England, explained: “This year has seen a changing of the guard with two of the older and most productive males absent, most probably dying of old age, or accident. One in particular called YA produced an astonishing 26 chicks in his life.
"The good news is that his first grandson – called Elsin and just two years old – has been spotted nearby and looks well placed to continue the family tradition.
"In total eight nests in the 63,000 acre forest were occupied this year and five of them produced healthy off-spring.”
Forestry England tree climbers and experts visited Nest 2 on Thursday where the excellent parents have raised three chicks. Mum has now had eight chicks in just three years with two mates, and her current partner has been an attentive father, keen to help incubate eggs as well as bringing back at least two fish daily for hungry mouths.
Climbers lowered them to the ground where they were fitted and weighed, then returned to the nest unharmed.
Tom Dearnley, Forestry England ecologist, added: “The sheer scale of Kielder creates an excellent environment for rare and protected species to recover.
"We’ve always stressed that the success of the ospreys is good news for the wider Borders and northern England. Some of the birds will spread out and increase the likelihood this iconic species will colonise and breed elsewhere.
"Ospreys arrived here under their own steam, in part attracted by artificial nests erected around the forest and a reservoir well stocked with fish. What’s happened since has been a heart-warming success story.”
The Kielder Osprey Project is a partnership between Forestry England, Northumbrian Water, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Wild Intrigue.
A livestream of the nest is on YouTube.