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  1. ITV Report

Eggs for Cumbria ospreys

Three eggs in the nest at Bassenthwaite Photo: Lake District Osprey Project

A pair of ospreys nesting in Cumbria have produced three eggs.

Ospreys used to be extinct in the UK, but when they returned to Scotland, the Lake District Osprey Project created an artificial platform, in the hope that they could be encouraged to nest in Cumbria.

It worked. A breeding pair has returned there from their winter migration in Africa for 17 years.

"I was really thrilled to hear that the third egg had been laid because in 2001 the female was a bit old and she only laid two eggs for each year, never three, so it was a real bonus to have a third egg."

– Mary Lawley, Volunteer

"We had the original male and his female and they were there for a long time on a totally different nest to where they actually are now and they did really well, they actually bred a chick who's moved down to South Lakes and he's bred there with a female from Kielder so they've continued the line.

"But the pair we have now - they've had a chick number 14 who has been on this incredible migration journey - all osprey migration is amazing but with number 14 he went to where most ospreys go and then carried on and went even further - he's been to over 30 countries, done hundreds of thousands of miles and just keeps going."

– Imogen Taylor, Lake District Osprey Project
Credit: Lake District Osprey Project

What makes the rare birds of prey especially impressive is their huge wingspan - around 1.65m. And their nest is about the size of a double bed.

Only one of these three eggs is likely to survive and last year this pair lost all three - two to a magpie in their nest.

Their fans are hoping these three eggs have better luck.

They have around four weeks left until they hatch and can be viewed on a screen at Whinlatter Tourist Information Office or from viewing platforms near Bassenthwaite.