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Last Updated: Wednesday June 03 2009 12:11 GMT

First bustard chicks hatch in England

Three Great Bustard chicks have hatched on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire.

They are the first to be successfully bred there since the birds became extinct in the UK in the 19th century.

So far, at least three chicks in two nests have hatched.

Bustards died out in the UK because of changing farming practices and hunting.

They are the world's heaviest flying bird, and can weigh up to 20kg. Female bustards stand a metre tall when fully grown.

Until bustards were released in the UK they were only found wild in Russia, and are considered vulnerable to extinction worldwide.

They were reintroduced to the UK in 2004 and first laid eggs in 2007, but this is the first time their eggs have hatched.

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