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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Lakes osprey gets 'health check'
Osprey chick
Two eggs were found in the nest that had not hatched
Wildlife watchers have carried out the first "health check" on a newly-hatched osprey in Cumbria.

The recently-born chick was also ringed by wildlife experts who scaled the nest tree in Wythop Forest near Keswick for their first visit to the birds.

The chick - believed to be female - was also photographed for the first time.

Staff from the Lake District Osprey Project at Bassenthwaite Lake, say they are "extremely pleased" with the progress of the chick.

Ospreys usually lay three eggs and the project team monitoring the nest is hoping that more chicks will hatch in the next few days.

The chick was carefully lowered from its tree-top nest, so that experts could check on the progress of the bird, which is now five weeks old.

The team were delighted to find that the young osprey is growing-up rapidly on its diet of fresh fish.

The young osprey is expected to take its first flight towards the end of July.

Monitoring programme

Pete Davies of the Lake District Osprey Project who supervised the health check said: "It was a privilege to have the opportunity to see this amazing bird at close quarters and to see how fast she has grown in just five weeks.

"The health check was over very quickly and the chick was returned to the nest, where the adults will continue to feed it for several more weeks.

"We are now looking forward to the special day when this young osprey makes its first flight."

Two eggs were also found in the nest and these will be sent away for scientific analysis to try to identify the reasons why they did not hatch.

As part of a national monitoring programme to learn more about ospreys, the chick was ringed to help identify it if it returns to the Lake District in the future.

The osprey family are drawing big crowds to Cumbria and thousands of people have already visited the Forestry Commission's Whinlatter Visitor Centre, where a nest cam is beaming back live pictures to a giant videowall.

This is the fourth year that ospreys have nested near Bassenthwaite Lake and they have already successfully raised four chicks - one in 2001, two in 2002 and one last year.




SEE ALSO:
Birds reunited after winter apart
19 Apr 04  |  Cumbria
Delight as osprey returns to nest
11 Apr 04  |  Cumbria
Osprey couple finally settle down
31 Mar 04  |  Scotland


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