New family for ospreys

A SECOND pair of ospreys has produced at least one chick in Kielder Water and Forest Park, and the news has been hailed as a massive conservation breakthrough.

The Northumbrian wilderness is now the only location in England to have been home to more than a single pair of breeding ospreys in over 170 years. The new birds have nested on an artificial platform erected by the Forestry Commission on top of a tall spruce tree, part of the osprey-friendly environment that has been cultivated by Northumbrian Water, Northumbrian Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.

It also emerged that Kielder’s original osprey pair, which arrived in 2009 and became the first to breed in Northumberland for at least 200 years, have had another chick this year – their seventh in three years.

The female originally laid three eggs in May, but sadly, stormy weather meant that the male could not hunt for fish to feed his first offspring. However, the third chick, born a few days later when the gales subsided, survived.

Elisabeth Rowark, from the Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust said: “Getting a second pair of ospreys breeding in Kielder Water and Forest Park is truly fantastic news and hopefully heralds the return of this magnificent bird in even greater numbers. It’s a tremendous boost for everyone who loves this stunning place and its wonderful wildlife. Fingers are now crossed that the youngsters fledge from both nests.”