Page last updated at 19:52 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Satellite tagging plan for Bassenthwaite ospreys

Osprey chick number 10
It is not known where the chicks spend the winter

Osprey chicks which hatch at Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria this year will be fitted with tracking devices for the first time.

In 2001, a male osprey became the first to nest in the Lakes in 150 years.

Since then, it has returned to Bassenthwaite each year, raising nine broods with two different females.

The Lake District Osprey Project will use satellite trackers to follow chicks' movements when they migrate south for the winter.

The adult ospreys, which usually arrive at Bassenthwaite in March or April, have yet to return for the 2010 season.

Project member Nathan Fox said the team of volunteers were watching the skies and and keeping their fingers crossed.

Migration south

By tagging any chicks which hatch this year, they will know for the first time where the birds spend the winter months.

Mr Fox said: "When we come to ring the chicks, assuming we get a successful brood, we'll be fitting satellite trackers to them.

"Then hopefully we'll be able to see the birds as they progress through their migration south."

The ospreys attract thousands of people to the area each year, providing a boost to the Lake District's economy.

Visitors to Bassenthwaite can watch them through high-powered telescopes at the Dodd Wood viewpoint, overlooking the lake.

Live images from the nest are also beamed to a big screen at the nearby Whinlatter visitor centre.

The Lake District Osprey Project is managed by a partnership of the Forestry Commission, Lake District National Park Authority and the RSPB.

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