Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 15:05 UK

Images show Northumberland osprey pair at home


The birds raised three chicks last summer

New footage has been released of a pair of nesting Northumberland ospreys in their purpose-built treetop home.

The male and female birds were reunited last month and are nesting in an eyrie on a specially built platform high in the trees of Kielder forest.

The birds of prey raised three chicks which went on to successfully fledge last summer.

They were the first osprey chicks born in the north-east of England for at least 200 years.

The latest pictures show the female spending most of her time on the nest, with the male supplying fish plucked from Kielder Reservoir.

Philip Spottiswood, Forestry Commission chief wildlife ranger, said: "The cameras have been a godsend, allowing us to check the birds' progress without going anywhere near the nest.

No records

"Last year we adopted a very careful approach so as not to disturb them and generally stayed well clear."

Historically ospreys lived in Northumberland, hunting on the once extensive network of marshes.

Accounts written in the 1700s referred to the presence of "fish eating hawks" in Northumberland.

However, until last year there were no records of the bird breeding in the county for well over two centuries.

The Kielder Water and Forest Park ospreys are thought to originate from the expanding Scottish population.

Ospreys were once distributed widely, but persecution resulted in the species becoming extinct in England as a breeding bird in 1840 and in Scotland in 1916.

Live images of Kielder's ospreys are being broadcast to an interpretation room

in Kielder Castle and the Dukes Pantry Tea Room between 10am and 4pm daily.

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Nesting ospreys return to Kielder
08 Apr 10 |  Tyne

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