Cumbria

Satellite tags for Bassenthwaite Lake ospreys

Osprey tagging
Image caption The solar-powered transmitters are attached to the chicks by a harness

Two osprey chicks have been fitted with satellite tags in a bid to discover where they spend the winter after leaving their Lake District birthplace.

The six-week-old males will stay in the vicinity of Bassenthwaite Lake with their father until early September, before migrating south.

Solar-powered transmitters, kitted out with GPS technology, have been attached by a harness, like a tiny rucksack.

Experts believe the birds spend the winter in Africa.

The transmitters are programmed to take readings at hourly intervals, and record the speed, altitude and course of the bird.

Pete Davies, of the Lake District Osprey Project, said: "We think that the birds will go to Africa but we can't be sure.

"It will be fantastic to find out exactly where they end up, how long it takes them to get there and which route they take.

"We will also be able to see where they go when they head northwards in March next year.

He added: "Tracking the ospreys is the perfect way to celebrate the 10th successive breeding season at Bassenthwaite."

In 2001, a male osprey became the first to nest in the Lakes in 150 years.

Since then, it has returned to Bassenthwaite each year, raising nine broods with two different females.

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