Page last updated at 07:57 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 08:57 UK

Three chicks hatch at osprey nest

Three osprey chicks born in 2008
The three chicks are healthy and well

Three osprey chicks have hatched at a secret nest site in the Lake District.

A male has nested at Bassenthwaite Lake since 2001, and paired up with the current female there two years ago.

Experts had hoped for two chicks, but were delighted on Wednesday when an inspection team discovered three healthy young birds.

The chicks - two females and one male, aged between 35 and 39 days old - have now been ringed by members of the Lake District Osprey Project.

The latest arrivals bring the number of chicks raised by the returning male osprey to 16.

A spokesman for the project said: "Weight gives an indication of whether the chick is a boy or a girl.

"Females are heavier than males, although relative hatch dates have to be taken into account. It seems this year we have two strapping girls and a bouncing little boy."

It is estimated that visitors heading to see the rare birds boost the local economy by up to 2m every year.

nesting ospreys are rare in the UK. Before 2001, there had been no ospreys in the Lakes in 150 years.

Egg watch at osprey nesting site
05 May 08 |  Cumbria
Ospreys snub lakeside nest site
27 Apr 08 |  Cumbria
Hopes high for return of ospreys
07 Apr 08 |  Cumbria
Chicks confound weather worries
26 Jun 07 |  Cumbria

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