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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June, 2003, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Watchers spy osprey chick
Ospreys in Cumbria
Thousands of people have seen the ospreys on the Internet
The only ospreys nesting in northern England have hatched at least one chick in their lakeside nest in Cumbria.

The Lake District Osprey Project revealed on Tuesday that at least one egg has now hatched and the female osprey has been seen feeding a chick.

The news comes more than five weeks after the birds arrived to what has become a regular nesting area close to Bassenthwaite Lake, near Keswick.

About 30,000 people have already visited special osprey viewpoints and more have been checking developments over the internet.

The mystery surrounding one of the ospreys has also been solved.

The female has a ring on her leg and the unique id number has finally been deciphered.

She was born in 1995, one of three chicks raised in Scotland. She is now eight years old and first visited Bassenthwaite Lake in 1998.

This is the third year the ospreys have nested near Bassenthwaite Lake and they have already successfully raised three chicks - one in 2001 and two chicks the following year.

'Thrilled at news'

Bill Kenmir of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said: "Little do the ospreys know just how many people are following their story not only in this country but across the globe.

"We rely on a huge team of people to help make the osprey project a success and the news that an egg has successfully hatched is testament to all their hard work.

"The many fans of the Lake District's now famous ospreys will be thrilled to hear the news.

"The return of ospreys to England after an absence of at least 150 years is one of the great conservation success stories of recent times and the Lake District pair is proving to be a huge draw for visitors."

Graeme Prest of The Forestry Commission added: "We are delighted that the ospreys have nested successfully for the third year in a row."

A round-the-clock protection scheme is now in place to safeguard the nest from egg thieves or other disturbance.

A team of more than 60 volunteers is helping to guard the nest.




SEE ALSO:
Mrs Osprey returns at last
20 Apr 03  |  Cumbria
Anxious wait for Mrs Osprey
16 Apr 03  |  Cumbria
Twin chicks for osprey pair
20 Jun 02  |  England
Bird-watching Big Brother style
04 Apr 02  |  England
Rare osprey photo call
23 Jul 01  |  Science/Nature


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