Rutland ospreys: 100th chick fledges

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Media captionConservators said the birds were proof the osprey colony had become "well-established"

The home of the first ospreys to breed in England for 150 years has seen its 100th chick fledge.

Scottish ospreys were released at Rutland Water in 1996, and the first pair bred in 2001.

Footage of the eight-week-old chick, alongside the 101st fledgling, which hatched during a "record-breaking" summer, has been released.

Reserve manager Tim Appleton said the success proved the birds were well-established.

"Our long-term aim was to restore a self-sustaining population of ospreys to central England, and the fact that the 100th chick has fledged shows that it is working well," he said.

"Several of this year's breeding birds are second or third-generation Rutland ospreys."

A total of 15 chicks have fledged this year - more than any summer since the first pair bred in 2001.

Three chicks fledged from a nest which visitors can view close-up from a purpose-built hide, and live images are also streamed on the Rutland Osprey Project website.

The Rutland Osprey Project manager Tim Mackrill said the visitor centre and hide were "buzzing with excitement when the chicks left the nest".

The chicks are likely to stay in Rutland until early September, when they will set-off on a 3,000-mile (4,828 km) migration to West Africa.

If they survive, they will remain in Africa until they are two years old.

Mr Mackrill said 40% of the birds that have fledged from Rutland have returned and two have bred successfully in Wales.

"One day we hope that people walking along the River Thames will be able to look up and see an osprey," he said.

"That would be a real sign of success."

Rutland ospreys

Image copyright Rutland Osprey Project
Image caption The 100 and 101st Rutland osprey chicks prove the birds are now "well-established", the project says
  • Rutland Water is home to the first ospreys to breed in England for 150 years
  • Young chicks were translocated from Scotland to the reservoir in the 1990s
  • Some of the birds have been tracked using satellites, charting their remarkable 3,000-mile (4,500km) journey
  • An adult osprey weighs about 3.3lbs (1.5kg) and has a wingspan of about 5.5ft (1.7m).

Source: The Rutland Osprey Project

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