Last week whilst on holiday by Rutland Water I took these pictures, I hope that you like them.
The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) - also commonly referred to as "Seahawk", Fish Hawk or Fish Eagle -- is a long-winged, medium-sized, fish-eating raptor with a worldwide distribution. It is found in temperate and tropical regions of all continents except Antarctica; although in South America it only occurs as a non-breeding migrant. In North America, they are amongst the larger bird of prey.
Intensive persecution by man (egg-collecting and taxidermy) during the last century, combined with prime habitat loss, led to its extinction as a breeding species in England in the 1840s. although Ospreys retained a tenuous hold in Scotland in remote areas.
In June 1996, following 18 months of negotiation, a licence was granted by Scottish Natural Heritage so that birds for a translocation project could be collected from Scotland, and taken to Rutland Water. But before licences could be granted, it was necessary to consult with national and local organisations on the impact the project might have on landowners, fish farms, fishing clubs and conservation societies.
On arrival at Rutland Water, the Osprey chicks were placed in release pens. The pens were sited in an elevated position so as to provide wide-ranging views over the lagoons of the Reserve and the wider body of the reservoir. The pens were approximately 2m square and each one contained an artificial nest resembling a natural eyrie, together with perches. Three chicks were placed in each pen, mirroring the nest situation in the wild.
Following detailed discussion, early in 2005 a proposal was made to Scottish Natural Heritage and English Nature, requesting permission to collect a further batch of young Ospreys from Scottish nests during 2005, but this time trying to select largely females.
The project reached a major milestone in 2001 when, 03(97), a male Osprey translocated to Rutland Water in 1997, raised a single chick with an unringed female at a nest on private land, close to the reservoir. Remarkably 03(97) has continued to breed every year since and has now raised a total of 27 chicks with three different females.
A total of 62 young Ospreys have now fledged from nests in the Rutland Water area since then, with a third of chicks fledging from five nests in 2010 and 2011.
Rutland Water is home to the first Ospreys to breed in England for 150 years, after this translocation programme. They are observed from their arrival from Africa in Spring, through to their Autumn migration.
I hope that this is of interest to you.
I must confess that I didn't take these pictures from the hide, but as I had been walking all day, and being of advanced years, and also being informed that the hide was about a 20 minute walk, through the woods, from the reception area, I decided to stay and have a coffee and an icecream, and to photograph the pictures from a live webcam monitor that was in the reception area.
This accounts for mediocre quality of the shots.
So I plead guilty m'luds to deception. I hope that you will forgive me.
Wildlife and nature
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