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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 05:41 GMT 06:41 UK
Ospreys hatch year's first chick
One of the previous Glaslyn osprey chicks, picture courtesy of RSPB
The ospreys have nested at the site since 2004
Wales's only known pair of nesting ospreys have hatched their first chick of 2007.

The birds of prey have returned from Africa to the nesting site at Glaslyn, near Porthmadog, Gwynedd, to raise chicks each year since 2004.

The first egg of three laid in April by the female osprey hatched late on Wednesday.

A 24-hour RSPB protection team watched the hatching via a "nest-cam" placed at the site.

Ospreys, which are fish-eating birds of prey, were hunted almost to extinction in the UK during Victorian times.

Still a protected species, a breeding scheme took osprey chicks from their Scottish stronghold to other parts of the UK, including the Glaslyn site.

Visitors have been thrilled to be among the first to view the new arrival
Emyr Evans, RSPB

Last year, an osprey pair hatched two chicks from three eggs.

The viewing site is manned by RSPB staff and volunteers and is visited by thousands of people hoping to catch a glimpse of the ospreys.

Following the hatching of the latest osprey chick at the site, Emyr Evans, RSPB Cymru osprey officer, said: "Both adult birds had been very agitated during Wednesday, so we knew that hatching must be imminent.

"Neither of them wanted to be away from the action, so they were even eating on the nest - which is most unusual.

"Visitors have been thrilled to be among the first to view the new arrival and we are all eagerly awaiting the second, which is expected in the next few days."

Mr Evans said the chick has been feeding on small morsels of fish brought back to the nest by the adult male.

He added: "The female is continuing to incubate the other two eggs but when she stands up to turn them and stretch her legs, we get great views of the chick.

"It is mostly white but we can already see the distinctive dark eye stripe that is characteristic of ospreys."


SEE ALSO
Ospreys return to nest in Gwynedd
29 Mar 07 |  North West Wales
Cautious welcome for male osprey
27 Mar 07 |  North West Wales
Osprey nest 'soap opera' success
17 Nov 05 |  North West Wales

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