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Ospreys in Kielder Water and Forest Park 2011

The Bird has flown

Aug 4th 2011

Male osprey

On Thursday the 4th Aug. the surviving chick fledged. The chick has to now learn the art of fishing from dad before finally leaving the nest for the long trek to Africa.


Ringing the Osprey chicks at Kielder

July 19th 2011

On Tuesday FC staff had a busy day ringing the osprey chicks. Only one First close-up images of Kielder's historic Osprey chickschick was ringed from last year's original nest but two chicks were found in the new nest. While the rangers lowered the chicks to the ground, one of the parents kept watch on a nearby tree. In a few weeks the chicks will fledge and learn the art of fishing from Dad. They need to learn quickly since by September they face a 3,000 mile trek to Africa. 

Second Osprey Pair Breed

July 5th 2011

A second pair of ospreys has produced at least one chick in 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Kielder Water & Forest Park – and the news is being hailed as a massive conservation breakthrough.The Northumbrian wilderness becomes the only location in England for over 170 years where more than a single pair of naturally re-colonising ospreys have bred successfully at the same time.The new birds have nested on an artificial platform erected by the Forestry Commission on top of a tall spruce tree. Forest chiefs have worked with Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumbrian Water and the RSPB to create an osprey-friendly environment in Kielder. 

The latest news is a rich reward for their endeavours.It has also emerged that Kielder’s original osprey pair, which arrived in 2009 and became the first to breed in the North East for at least 200 years, have had a single chick this year - their seventh youngster in just three years. Mum originally laid three eggs in May, but stormy weather during the crucial hatching period meant that the male could not hunt for fish to feed the first of his off-spring. But the third chick, born a few days later when the gales subsided, was more fortunate and has survived.

First close-up images of Kielder's historic Osprey chicksHistorically ospreys lived in Northumberland, hunting on the once extensive network of marshes. Accounts written in the 1700s refer to the presence of `fish eating hawks’ locally. However, until 2009 there were no records of the bird breeding in the county for well over two centuries.

The Kielder Water & Forest Park ospreys are thought to originate from the expanding Scottish population. Ospreys were once distributed widely, but persecution resulted in the species becoming extinct in England as a breeding bird in 1840 and in Scotland in 1916. Some birds re-colonised Scotland in the 1950s and by 2001 there were nearly 160 breeding pairs (today about 200). The same year saw the first successful osprey nests in England for 160 years by re-colonising birds in the Lake District and re-introduced ones at Rutland Water in the East Midlands.

The Ospreys returned in late March and set up home in the same artificial nest platform as last year. By mid-May they were proudly incubating three eggs. Once again their every move can be watched on TV screens at Kielder Castle. Edited weekly highlights will be posted on this page - so bookmark it and follow this family's soap opera!

Last updated: 28th August 2017

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.