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Bassenthwaite osprey chicks take their first flight

The osprey chicks hatched on 18, 19 and 22 May. Photo: Lake District Osprey Project.

All three chicks of the popular Bassenthwaite osprey couple have taken their first flights from the nest and visitors are being encouraged to watch them in action.

All three chicks have a unique leg ring number, making them easy to identify on the nest camera.

A bird’s first flight from the nest is known as ‘fledging’ and both male chicks got a head start with the first male fledging on Tuesday 11 July, and the second male fledging on Friday 14 July. The female chick was the last to fledge on Saturday 15 July.

Cath Johnson says now is the best time for visitors to see the chicks taking flight:

They are learning to use their powerful wings and will be making lots of short flights around the area to build up their strength, ready to make their incredible migration in just a few weeks time.”

– Cath Johnson, Lake District Osprey Project

You can see a short clip here of the three chicks preparing to take flight:

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At the end of the summer, it is expected the youngsters will migrate to Africa, where ospreys spend the winter months.

This is the 17th year of successful hatching for the Bassenthwaite ospreys, with more than 30 chicks raised since the project began.

It is also the fifth 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 fifth year running.

To watch the ospreys, visitors can join staff and volunteers at the viewpoint at Dodd Wood every day from 10am to 5pm until the end of August, and at Whinlatter Visitor Centre every day from 10am to 5pm, where visitors can watch live nest cam images.