Rare osprey chicks ringed before they fly off on epic adventure in the big wide world

THREE rare ospreys have been ringed to help experts keep tabs on their fortunes.

The birds are the offspring of a pioneering pair which last year raised the first osprey family in the North East for at least 200 years.

The 155,000-acre Kielder wilderness is only the second location in England where ospreys have naturally re-colonised after being persecuted to extinction in the 19th century.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Forestry Commission ornithologist Martin Davison, who carried out the delicate procedure, said: "Ringing the birds is vitally important. It has to be done at this stage because the chicks will soon fly from the nest.

"Rings carry vital information like where and when the birds were born, and to some extent 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 nest by a tree-climbing Forestry Commission ranger and were also weighed and had their wings measured.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite their size, the birds were docile and took their first

experience of life at ground level in their stride.

Once back in the nest, their mother soon returned and the chicks were reported to be in excellent health.

The chicks' progress has been monitored on live CCTV being beamed to Kielder Castle Visitor Centre from a nest camera.

They have put on weight incredibly quickly thanks to the adult birds' parenting skills.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The chicks have been fed with trout plucked from Northumbrian Water's Kielder reservoir.

They will need their strength because in a couple of months they will begin an epic 5,000-mile migration to Africa.

Also joining rangers on their mission to ring the ospreys was 10-year-old wildlife fan Olivia Graham, from Chatton, near Wooler,


A pupil at Glendale Middle School, Wooler, she won a competition to suggest names for the chicks and came up with Aqua, Spray and Splash.