Clean bill of health for Bassenthwaite osprey chick

Friday 1 July 2016

The future is looking bright for the famous osprey chick at Bassenthwaite Lake, following a recent health check.

The chick, which has been identified as a female, was checked at the weekend, ringed by a leading team of experts and fitted with a satellite tracker.

A public competition has also been held by the Lake District Osprey Project (LDOP) to name the young osprey. The winning name has been revealed as 'Bega', suggested by Pamela Evans, after the founder of the church on Bassenthwaite Lake.

Nathan Fox, of the LDOP, said:"We are delighted with how well Bega is doing.

"Following the loss of the other two osprey chicks due to magpie predation earlier in the season, Bega has been receiving all the food her parents bring in. She weighs an incredible 1.8 kg - the heaviest chick we've had since the project began in 2001!

"Her wingspan was also measured and she was then ringed by a team of experts under a special licence. They fitted her with a blue ring numbered V5 on her right leg and also a BTO ring on her left leg, along with a satellite tracker."

The tracking device will allow Bega to be followed when she leaves around the end of August. It is expected she will migrate to Africa, where ospreys spend the winter months. The tracker will show how fast she flies, where she stops off en route, and where she stays for the winter, providing valuable information on the movements of ospreys.

Following the health check, the chick was returned to the nest immediately after.

Nathan added: "All the procedures were carried out under rigorous government licence by experts who have undergone years of training. It's important to remember the disturbance of ospreys on the nest is an offence, and anyone responsible for disturbing the birds may be liable for prosecution, so the best and only places to see the ospreys are the viewpoints at Dodd Wood or Whinlatter Visitor Centre."

This is the 16th year of successful hatching for the Bassenthwaite ospreys, with more than 30 chicks raised since the project began. It is also the fourth year of raising chicks for ringed female KL and the unringed male, believed to be the same male which has returned to Bassenthwaite with KL for the fourth year running.

To watch the ospreys, visitors can join a dedicated team of staff and volunteers at the viewpoint at Dodd Wood every day from 10 am-5pm until the end of August, and at Whinlatter Visitor Centre every day from 10 am-5 pm, where visitors can watch live nest cam images on flat screen televisions.

Osprey fans around the world can keep an eye on the action from the nest by following the webcam on the LDOP homepage www.ospreywatch.co.uk and get the latest news at www.ospreywatch.co.uk, at www.facebook.com/ospreywatch, or by following on Twitter @lakelandosprey.

To help support the project, which has attracted more than one million visitors since it started, people can also now donate at www.justgiving.com/lakesospreys.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Country: England Topic: Birds of prey