Page last updated at 18:57 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Rangers hope ospreys will return to Northumberland

Osprey nest at Kielder

Preparations are being made in the hope a history-making pair of ospreys will return to a Northumberland forest.

Experts were delighted when the first ospreys to nest in the county for 200 years arrived at a specially-created nest site at Kielder Forest in 2009.

Now a revamped nest has been made for the birds on a tree-top platform which has also been kitted out with CCTV.

Rangers are hoping the male bird could return later this month, with the female following a few days later.

Last year the rare birds of prey raised three chicks at the Kielder site after arriving back from sub-Saharan Africa, where they migrate for the winter.

Forestry Commission ecologist Tom Dearnley said: "The epic 5,000-mile journey these birds make is quite breathtaking, but also daunting and there are many risks which have to be negotiated.

Secret location

"But fingers crossed they will make it back and the male will soon be scouting out the nest site.

"It would be fantastic to see more English born ospreys fledge from Kielder to continue the re-colonisation of former haunts."

Rangers have built a new nest on the platform the birds used last year, atop a 60ft (18.2m) fir at a secret location deep within the 155,000 acre (62,000 hectare) forest.

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

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

Some re-colonised Scotland in the 1950s, and they have recently returned to the Lake District and and Rutland Water in the East Midlands.

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Yorkshire Post Rangers watch out for return of breeding ospreys to forest - 9 hrs ago
Shields Gazette Forest rangers await return of ospreys - 22 hrs ago

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