Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 08:56 UK

Osprey chicks tagging completed

Osprey with ring attached
The chicks are all thought to be females

A delicate operation to tag three Lake District osprey chicks has been completed so their future movements can be tracked.

Climbers reached the Bassenthwaite Lake nest and lowered the birds to the ground to be weighed, measured and have rings placed on their legs.

The Lake District Osprey Project team believes all the chicks are female and they were all declared healthy.

The birds are expected to take their first flight later in July.

The rings have numbers and letters which are unique to the individual birds and mean their movements can be traced.

Live video

Pete Davies, from the project, said: "The rings have big letters on them which means that people will be able to read them through telescopes and know exactly which birds they are.

"Ringing the birds gives us a huge amount of information when they are seen again, how old they are, where they stop on the way over to West Africa and if and when they come back to the Lake District we will know exactly who they are."

The 2009 chicks bring the total number raised at Bassenthwaite to 19 since 2001.

The birds have become a big visitor attraction to the area with viewing platforms and a video wall.

The BBC Cumbria website has also set up a live video stream of the nest for the first time.



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