Rutland Water osprey chicks first to hatch this year

Two of the young osprey chicks Footage of the chicks hatching has been viewed around the world

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A pair of ospreys at Rutland Water have become the first in the country to hatch this year, a wildlife trust says.

The three osprey chicks appeared in the nest between Sunday and Wednesday.

The birds are being monitored by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust which captured the second chick hatching on its webcam.

Tim Mackrill, the trust's senior reserve officer, said: "We've never watched a chick hatch before."

The life of a young osprey

An osprey in flight
  • A young osprey spends the first seven or eight weeks of its life confined to the nest (or eyrie)
  • It will be fed primarily by its mother, who tears pieces from a fish and passes them into the nest
  • At two weeks old the youngsters can move around the nest and after a month they are very active
  • Gradually, their wings become strong enough to allow them to lift a little off the nest, called "helicoptering", and then take their hesitant first flight

The trust was able to view the chick hatching after they improved the camera that monitors the ospreys and moved its position so it could zoom into the nest.

"It's allowed us to see things in amazing detail," said Mr Mackrill.

He said the footage had been viewed around the world.

Osprey eggs usually take between 35 and 42 days to hatch.

Mr Mackrill said: "These three chicks are tiny at the moment. The eggs were the size of a hen's eggs.

"It's amazing to think that in three months' time, these chicks will fly to Africa for the winter."

The new chicks take the number of young ospreys to hatch at Rutland Water to 65 since 2001, when ospreys were reintroduced to the area.

Mr Mackrill said they were expecting eggs from three other nests this year.

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