Osprey chicks ringed at Kielder Water
TEN-YEAR-OLD Olivia Graham took the plunge and entered a competition to name Northumberland’s three osprey chicks.
The birds are being raised at Kielder Water & Forest Park by an osprey couple who last year successfully fledged three youngsters. They became the first for osprey breeding in the North East for at least 200 years.
Now Forestry Commission rangers have ringed this year’s brood – joined by Olivia, from Chatton, near Wooler in Northumberland.
The ringing trip was the prize for Olivia winning the naming competition.
A pupil at Glendale Middle School, Wooler, she came up with the names of Aqua, Spray and Splash. Olivia was inspired by internet video footage of the Kielder ospreys and opted for a watery theme for the fish-hunting eagles.
Martin Davison, Forestry Commission ornithologist, who carried out the ringing procedure, said: “Ringing the birds is vital. It has to be done at this stage because the chicks will soon fly the nest.
“Rings carry vital information like where and when the birds were born, and they can be read over a distance using a telescope. It’s really our best chance of finding out how they fare in the big wide world.”
The ospreys were lowered from their high nesting platform by a tree-climbing Forestry Commission ranger and were weighed and had their wings measured.