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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Young ospreys make first flights
Ospreys in flight
The chicks will need to hone their flying skills

Staff at a nature reserve are celebrating as two osprey chicks born there have made their first flights.

The youngsters now have to hone their flying skills around Rutland Water in Leicestershire before they embark on a 2,500-mile migration to West Africa.

The birds of prey first bred in Rutland in 2001 when one healthy chick was raised.

Tim Mackrill, from Rutland Water, said the osprey breeding project aimed to increase the species population.

He said: "The long term aim of our project is to establish a self-sustaining osprey population not just at Rutland Water but in central England generally.

"We want the birds to colonise Rutland Water then to spread out into all of the other fantastic habitat that there is for the birds in England."

The birds of prey were all but wiped out in England in the 19th Century but they did survive in Scotland.

Since 1997 a dozen six-week-old ospreys have been relocated every year from Scotland to Rutland Water.


SEE ALSO
Osprey return sparks celebrations
06 Jul 06 |  Leicestershire

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