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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2007, 12:02 GMT
Love nests to attract rare birds
osprey
The ospreys have been a big visitor draw in previous years
Wildlife rangers in Cumbria are building "love-nests" to attract rare birds of prey.

The nests, the size of a single bed, are designed to appeal to ospreys on their return from migration to Africa.

They are being constructed from wire mesh, branches and moss at secret locations identified as potential breeding sites.

After a 150-year absence, ospreys have bred chicks on an artificial platform at Bassenthwaite Lake since 2001.

They can be viewed on the internet, or from a special viewpoint and have become a big draw, bringing in about 2m to the local economy each year.

The exact location of the new sites is to remain a secret to allow potential osprey couples privacy and seclusion for successful breeding.

Mike Thornley, chief wildlife ranger for the Forestry Commission at Grizedale Forest, said: "Cumbria has a limited number of potential breeding sites for ospreys, so we've decided to offer the birds ready-made nests that will hopefully attract them to new locations around the county.

"If the project is successful the ospreys will be able to use the same nest year after year."


SEE ALSO
Visitors flock to Lakes ospreys
01 Jun 06 |  Cumbria
Osprey pair return for 6th year
11 Apr 06 |  Cumbria
Chick joy for rare birds of prey
28 May 05 |  Cumbria

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