Team rings osprey chicks at northern England stronghold

Team rings osprey chicks at northern England stronghold
Forestry England ornithologist Martin Davison with one the osprey chicks that the team ringed at Kielder Forest, Northumberland (Forestry England/PA)

Tree climbers and wildlife experts have joined up to ring rare osprey chicks in one of the bird of prey’s English strongholds.

Ospreys returned to Kielder Forest, Northumberland, for the first time in at least 200 years in 2009.

Since then the fish-eating hunters have gone from strength-to-strength and this year eight chicks have been be fitted with identification rings on their legs so experts can monitor their progress.

The ringing process is harmless and allows experts to track their movements (Forestry England/PA)

There has been a change to their hierarchy with the absence of two of the older and most productive males, who may be dead, with one of them previously producing 26 chicks.

But his grandson Elsin, two, has been seen nearby and looks set to carry on the dynasty.

There are eight occupied nests in the 63,000-acre forest this year and five of them produced healthy offspring.

Ospreys were hunted to extinction in England in the 19th century but have since made a return (Forestry England/PA)

After climbers lowered youngsters to the ground they were fitted with a unique ring on one leg and a numbered blue coloured tag on the other.

This shows they were born in England and Wales and the tag can be read by people using cameras and scopes, meaning they can be tracked through their lives.

Tom Dearnley, Forestry England ecologist, said: “The sheer scale of Kielder creates an excellent environment for rare and protected species to recover.”

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