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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Bassenthwaite osprey chick dies in nest

One of the three Bassenthwaite osprey chicks has died, it has been confirmed.

Last week the Lake District Osprey Project said that two of the chicks appeared ill.

One made a good recovery, however the other – despite clinging on to life for longer than expected – has now died.

A statement from the Osprey project said: “Sadly, but not unsurprisingly, we can confirm that our poorly chick died.

“Although upsetting, we are also glad its suffering is now over, and delighted that the remaining two chicks appear strong, healthy and are doing very well.”

It is believed the chick died on either late Saturday night or early on Sunday. Watchers saw the female, known as KL, and unringed male effectively burying the dead chick under cut grass from surrounding fields.

The osprey project added: “She continues to guard her two healthy chicks and, like us, will be looking forward to them continuing to flourish and become part of the next generation of ospreys.”

Fears that the chicks may have been struck down by a bacterial infection emerged last week when they noticed that two of the young were struggling to stand in the nest. Despite one of them recovering, the female did not abandon the weaker chick, as some had expected.

Although the others clearly had priority, she continued to feed it and shade it from the glare of the sun.

Staff at the osprey project could do nothing but watch to see if it would recover. They said they did not dare to interfere with the nest, for fear of stressing the other young and their parents, and potentially making things worse.

The chicks, which are around three weeks old, were the first full clutch of three chicks for the pair.

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