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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Ospreys get clean bill of health
The three osprey chicks
The osprey chicks are thriving on a diet of fresh fish
Three rare osprey chicks have been given a clean bill of health after being taken from their Lake District tree-top nest for a check up.

The five-week-old birds, believed to be a female and two males, have been returned to their nest in Wythrop Forest, at Bassenthwaite, Keswick.

They are being monitored by the Lake District Osprey Project and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The chicks' parents have been nesting in the area since 2001.

They are thriving on a diet of fresh fish and are expected to take their first flight at the end of the month.

Graeme Prest, of the Osprey Project, said: "It was a privilege to have the opportunity to see the young ospreys at close quarters and to see how fast they have grown in just five weeks.

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

'Amazing sight'

The chicks were ringed to help identify them if they return to the area, as part of a national monitoring programme. The birds usually fly to Africa for the winter.

So far 52,200 people have been to the osprey viewpoints at the Forestry Commission's Whinlatter Visitor Centre and Dodd Wood.

Before 2001, there had been no ospreys in the Lakes in 150 years.

Mr Prest added: "To have a family of five ospreys flying over Bassenthwaite will be a real red letter day for the project and an amazing sight for visitors to our viewpoints."

The Lake District Osprey Project is a partnership between The Forestry Commission and the RSPB with the support of the Lake District National Park Authority.


SEE ALSO
Third egg in Lakes ospreys' nest
10 May 06 |  Cumbria
Osprey pair return for 6th year
11 Apr 06 |  Cumbria
First ospreys land at Lakes nest
05 Apr 06 |  Cumbria
Thousands travel to see ospreys
18 Aug 05 |  Cumbria
Chick joy for rare birds of prey
28 May 05 |  Cumbria

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