Treetop Cameras Capture First Flight of Osprey Chick (Video)


Photo by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region via Flickr CC

Ospreys are a rare sight in England. In 2009, a pair set records as the first to breed in England for 200 years. A second pair broke records again this year, as it made Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland the only place in England in 170 years with two osprey pairs successfully hatching chicks at the same time. Now, the only surviving chick from that second pair has taken wing -- and you get to watch its first flight thanks to cameras watching over the nest. The Guardian reports that the family weathered spring storms and only one of the three hatchlings survived. Cameras caught the four-month-old bird taking wing for the first time. Below, you can watch the clip from the recording that shows its first flight -- a quick loop around the nest.

"It was quite emotional," said June Banks, who manages the Forestry Commission shop. "The youngster perched himself on the edge of the nest and eventually plucked up the courage to take a leap in the dark... Everything went like clockwork and after a circuit around the nest he arrived back safe and sound."

Visit Kielder writes that the same pair tried to build their own nest last year, though the news was kept secret to keep them from being disturbed. However, this year they used a nest on an artificial platform built by the park's tree climbers. This platform worked well for them, keeping at least one chick safe through storms.

The birds make a 9,000 mile round-trip migration, and the chick will need to be ready to hunt for itself by September as the birds head south.

Blanaid O'Connell from the RSPB said: "The news that another pair of ospreys is breeding in Kielder marks a major milestone. It strengthens the chances of this once persecuted bird recolonising other parts of England where it has been absent for hundreds of years."

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Tags: Animals | Birds | Conservation