Birds of a feather - that don't stick together!

Kielder Ospreys on camera Credit: Kielder Water and Forest Park

For the second year running, Kielder Ospreys returning to their Northumberland nests have been spotted having "flings" and demonstrating courtships with birds other than their life partners.

The Nest 2 antics are being watched by visitors through a camera on the nest and footage is streamed to visitors at Kielder Castle.

The “extra marital” activity occurs when one bird from a life pairing returns to a nest ahead of its partner and encounters an osprey of the opposite sex.

You can keep up to date with all the stories as they unfold through the Kielder osprey blog.

Kielder Ospreys on camera Credit: Kielder Water and Forest Park

Osprey Fact File

  • Ospreys are migratory and arrive in late March and April and leave again for Africa in August and September.

  • The bird is an Amber List species because of its historical decline (due to illegal killing and egg theft) and low breeding numbers.

  • Ospreys normally breed for the first time when they are aged between 4-5 years old.

  • They are largely monogamous and faithful both to nest and mate.

  • The nest is generally built on the top of a large tree.

  • Females lay two or three eggs at 1-3 day intervals which are incubated for about 38 - 42 days per egg.

  • Ospreys divide the nesting duties between the pair. The female does most of the incubating, brooding and direct feeding of the young. She guards them throughout the nesting period and will share the hunting at later stages when the chicks are larger. The male is the major provider of fish for the female and chicks.

  • Chicks fledge about seven weeks after hatching.