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New dad spotted on Kielder Northumberland osprey nest

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  July 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
The osprey male (background) with his mate on the older of the two nests in Kielder Water & Forest Park pictured recently

The osprey male (background) with his mate on the older of the two nests in Kielder Water & Forest Park pictured recently

Kielder Ospreys update

There might be a new osprey dad on one of the nests at Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumbria.

Eagle-eyed rangers and volunteers have spotted the Kielder osprey, which has fathered a healthy chick this year. The new male mated with a female in the tree-top nest following the long winter migration to the 62,000-hectare Northumbrian wilderness.

Ospreys are faithful to each other and so experts believed the mating was a romantic reunion. It was thought that the couple were responsible for producing the first osprey chicks born in the North East for at least two centuries in 2009 and offspring every year since.

However, not all is as it appeared.

The new male osprey with rings on its legs. The original osprey did not have any rings

The new male osprey with rings on its legs. The original osprey did not have any rings

Careful examination of CCTV nest footage beamed live to Kielder Castle and Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park has revealed that this male has rings on his leg – and the original bird did not.

Martin Davison, Forestry Commission Ornithologist, explained: “We can’t be absolutely certain, but it does seem very likely that the female has mated with a new bird.

“Last year she was buzzed by a male interloper who she chased away while her mate was on a hunting trip.  So perhaps it is this bird that has taken up residence,” he explained.

“That begs the question: What happened to the original male?  It’s most likely he died sometime between leaving Kielder last September to migrate to sub-Saharan Africa and making the return journey.  If that is the case it is very sad, but also reassuring that another male has stepped in so quickly to continue the osprey success story at Kielder.”

Backing up the ‘new man’ theory is the fact that volunteers on the Kielder Osprey Watch 2012 have noticed that the male’s behaviour seems different this summer, preferring a different perching location.

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