Ospreys are spectacular fish-eating birds of prey with a wingspan of over five feet. They became extinct as a breeding bird in England in 1840 and in Scotland in 1916 primarily due to heavy persecution by Victorian egg and skin collectors. Although things are slowly improving for ospreys they are still considered rare.
Ospreys re-colonised the UK naturally, breeding for the first time in Scotland in 1954 at Loch Garten, Abernethy Forest Reserve, and in England in 2001 at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District and today there are numerous osprey projects running across the UK to protect these rare and beautiful birds.
The Kielder Osprey Project
For many years ospreys were seen passing through Kielder without stopping, always on the way north to more long-standing nesting sites in Scotland. As more and more of the best nesting spots were taken, it was just a matter of time before they stayed south of the border. To encourage this, the Forestry Commission installed a number of platforms around the forest after a failed attempt to nest by two young birds in 2008. This paid off, as following an absence of about 200 years in Northumberland, ospreys returned to nest at Kielder in 2009.
Every year, once the ospreys return to Kielder, Northumberland Wildlife Trust coordinates a team of knowledgeable volunteers who share their expertise with visitors from the viewing point situated behind the Boat Inn at Kielder Waterside. As with previous years, we will be running Osprey Watch from its cabin behind the Boat Inn at Kielder Waterside between 10.30am - 5:00pm every Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday Mondays (and extra Wednesdays in July and August) from Saturday 20th April until Sunday 18th August.
The Forestry Commission has provided nest-cameras which enable us to see the nest activity and monitor the ospreys’ progress. The live-streams are available to watch both from the Kielder Castle cafe and the osprey cabin behind the Boat Inn during the season.
Please show your support for Kielder's ospreys!
Although Osprey Watch is mostly run by volunteers, we still rely on donations in order to complete the work we do, which includes inspiring visitors at the viewing point and osprey cabin, purchasing equipment to help us with osprey monitoring and protection, producing educational materials and outreach work, installing and maintaining new nest platforms, training and supporting volunteers.
You can contribute to our work by donating through Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s donation page, choosing Kielder Ospreys in the drop down list.
Look out for volunteering opportunities with the project on the NWT website here.
Kielder Osprey News
We are now eagerly anticipating the hatching of the 16 eggs on 6 nests! This is the highest confirmed total of eggs at Kielder. Stay up to date with the birds by following the fantastic osprey blog.
Up, up and away!
Data from Kielder Water & Forest Park today (21 August) indicates that one of this year’s two tracked osprey juveniles. Chesters,…
Eleven ospreys for eleventh year
The eleventh year since ospreys returned to Northumberland has seen yet another record broken.
September surprise for wildlife charity
Northumberland Wildlife Trust has started September with a surprise cheque for £500 from The Rotary Club of Ponteland.