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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Twin chicks for osprey pair
Osprey chick - Norman Healy/Forestry Commission
Osprey chicks are very rare in the UK
A pair of nesting ospreys in the Lake District have successfully hatched eggs and produced two young.

The osprey chicks were born in a nest close to Bassenthwaite Lake near Keswick.

It is only the second time in 150 years that osprey chicks have nested in England - last year the same pair of ospreys raised one chick.

The first egg is thought to have hatched on Monday evening and the second late on Wednesday.


The presence of these spectacular birds has given a real boost to this special area of the Lake District

Pete Davies, Lake District National Park

About 30,000 visitors have visited Dodd Wood and Whinlatter Visitor Centre since April to view the rare birds of prey.

Bird lovers across the world have also been able to watch the progress of the ospreys via a webcam fixed to a tree overlooking the nest.

The news has delighted the Lake District Osprey Project team - a partnership of the Forestry Commission, Lake District National Park Authority and the RSPB, who have maintained a round-the-clock guard over the rare birds.

The female bird has been seen feeding her young and the male bird is bringing regular deliveries of freshly caught fish into the nest.

Bill Kenmir of the RSPB said: "The last few weeks have been incredibly exciting but also a very tense time for everyone involved.

"The male osprey arrived in early April but the female kept him waiting for several weeks before she returned.

"After that, it was a whirlwind courtship and by 10 May, the pair were incubating eggs."

Global fans

Graeme Prest of the Forestry Commission said: "Thanks to the internet and with the help of English Nature and BBCi, the fortunes of the Lake District ospreys are being followed by fans world-wide.

"So far, we have had messages of encouragement sent to the team from as far afield as the USA, Canada, Spain, Norway, Austria, Australia and Japan, all wishing us well in achieving our goals for the project.

"It's fantastic that there is such a global following for these wonderful birds."

Pete Davies, from The Lake District National Park Authority, said: "The presence of these spectacular birds has given a real boost to this special area of the Lake District."

The project partners have provided public viewing facilities at two sites in the Lake District and the arrival of the young ospreys is likely to provide a welcome extra boost to tourism

If all goes well, the chicks should make their first flight from the nest in mid-August.


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See also:

04 Apr 02 | England
23 Jul 01 | Science/Nature
11 May 01 | Science/Nature
01 Aug 00 | UK
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