Ospreys nest again after two centuries

Ospreys, the spectacular fish hawks whose return to Britain has been a conservation success story, have nested in Northumberland for the first time in more than two centuries.

A pair are thought to have hatched out chicks at a nest near Kielder Water, a forest-surrounded reservoir which is Europe's biggest man-made lake. A project to encourage the birds to return to the area, which is on their migration path, has attracted them to a breeding platform erected for them.

Ospreys were extinct in Britain from 1916, when the last birds were shot in Scotland, to 1954, when a pair returned to Loch Garten in the Highlands. In England the last pair were recorded in Somerset in 1842, but its Scottish return eventually spread to England in 2001 when pairs nested at Rutland Water (part of a reintroduction programme) and at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District (a result of natural recolonisation).

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