First osprey chicks for 200 years ready to fly
THE first osprey chicks to hatch in Northumberland for at least 200 years are in tip top condition – much to the relief of wildlife experts.
A team from the Forestry Commission paid an early morning visit to the remote nest in 155,000-acre Kielder Water & Forest Park to ring the youngsters, note their vital statistics and take the first pictures of the three youngsters. Wildlife ranger Paul Pickett, from Kielder, scaled a tree to reach the nest, built on an artificial platform erected last year.
He carefully lowered the birds to the ground in bags to enable rings to be fitted by ornithologist Martin Davison, aided by ecologist Tom Dearnley.
A second coloured ring was also added which will enable each bird to be identified in future.
Placid throughout and with the mother circling overhead, the chicks, which are about five weeks old, weighed in at around 1,700 grammes each, with their feathers now almost fully developed.
Their wingspan was measured at 3ft – that of a fully grown male is 5ft.
It is expected that the trio will fledge in a couple of weeks when they take to the air for the first time.
Visitors will then be treated to the sight of the osprey family fishing together.