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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Second osprey chick hatches out
osprey
Several ospreys have been spotted in Wales this year
Three osprey eggs laid at a nest site established to help the bird of prey return from the brink of extinction have begun to hatch.

One chick emerged on Thursday night, and another arrived on Sunday. The third is expected on Wednesday.

The parent birds - Wales' only known breeding pair this year - laid near Porthmadog, Gwynedd, in early May.

Since then, conservationists have kept them under constant surveillance to protect eggs from thieves.

The same pair bred last year, but the clutch of eggs was lost after the nest fell to the ground in high winds.

Gili Armson, Glaslyn Osprey project manager for RSPB Cymru, described the new hatching as "wonderful news" and said the chicks had a good chance of survival.

OSPREY FACTS
Scientific name : Pandion haliaetus
Wingspan : 5ft
Clutch: 3, but not all fledge
Sexual maturity: Three to five years
Diet : Mainly fish, particularly perch, pike, and trout

"Our focus right now is keeping that nest secure and hopefully those chicks will fledge."

Thousands of people have seen the birds via a nest camera.

The fish-eating osprey was hunted almost to extinction in Britain by gamekeepers and fishermen in Victorian times.

Birds from Scotland - which has remained a stronghold for the species - were taken as chicks to other parts of the country, in the hope they would breed and spread elsewhere.

Last year, an osprey chick fledged at a secret location in mid Wales - the first on record in Wales.

The osprey remains an Amber List species, which means it still needs protection for numbers to recover to an acceptable level.


SEE ALSO:
Dark origins of Lakeland ospreys
14 Jun 05 |  Cumbria
Welsh osprey makes history
20 Aug 04 |  Wales
High winds kill osprey chicks
03 Jul 04 |  Wales
Lake's ospreys hatch first chick
05 Jun 04 |  Cumbria


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