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Final two Kielder Northumbrian osprey chicks take to the skies

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  August 1, 2012 | 0 Comments
The Kielder osprey chicks - dubbed Jubilee Jack and Queenie - flew for the first time this week.

The Kielder osprey chicks – dubbed Jubilee Jack and Queenie – flew for the first time this week.

Kielder Ospreys update

The final two osprey chicks at Kielder in Northumberland have spread their wings and taken to the skies for the first time ever – after spending time bouncing up and down on the nest.

The exciting development happened in the last few days for the Kielder osprey chicks born this year in Kielder Water & Forest Park, and those involved in the Osprey Watch were thrilled to see the young  have taken their first flights.

Experts from the Forestry Commission watching the osprey nest on live CCTV in Kielder Castle say the male chick – called Jubilee Jack – took to the skies after spending hours bouncing up and down on the nest.

He failed to land after one hop, but his shadow cast on the tree top that revealed that Jubilee Jack was enjoying his first 40 second powered flight. That encouraged his sister – dubbed Queenie – to take the same bouncy route to becoming airborne soon after.

Watching the action unfold was Kielder Osprey Watch Volunteer Joanne Dailey, from Wark.  She explained: “It was really exciting and everyone in Kielder Castle was gripped by the whole thing.  Both chicks had been stretching their wings for a few days and after their flight a pleased looking mum joined them on the nest and Dad brought in a fish. The weather was pretty breezy at the time and that may have helped the birds get aloft.”

Three osprey chicks have now fledged in the 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Northumbrian wilderness, which rangers say is a terrific outcome after poor summer weather.  A dozen rare English ospreys have now fledged in Kielder since the species began breeding again in North East England for the first time in more than two centuries in 2009.

Kevin Hudson, Northumbrian Water Leisure Manager, added: “This latest news means that we should have at least seven ospreys hunting on Kielder Water over the next month, so it is a great time to catch a glimpse of this majestic bird on the wing.  Chicks have to grow up incredibly fast and will be taught how to hunt by their parents before setting off on their own on a long winter migration to Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Nature lovers who snap photographs of the birds hunting over Kielder Water are being urged to post them on the VisitKielder Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/kielder

Kielder Osprey Watch 2012 is organised by the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. The partners are working hard to ensure that the ospreys are here to stay by maintaining a high quality habitat in Kielder Water & Forest Park and safeguarding and monitoring the nest site.

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