Maya and 33 on their nest at Rutland Water with the first of the 2018 chicks to hatch © Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Rutland Osprey Project has reported that Maya (a female osprey) and her mate (known as 33 after his ring number), have successfully incubated a trio of eggs that began hatching during the early May Bank Holiday weekend.
This is the earliest recorded date of osprey eggs hatching at Rutland Water, and follows the earliest return date and egg laying of UK ospreys when Maya was spotted at her nest on 12 March, five days before the previous earliest return date on record.
“The adults migrate 4800 kilometres from the sunny beaches of West Africa to breed here, so having the first chicks of the season is very exciting,” says project officer Anya Wicikowski.
“It will be another 35-40 days before the chicks are ready to fledge, but the fact we already have three chicks is a true testament to the success of the Rutland Osprey Project.”
The first egg hatched on 5 May, followed by the second egg on 6 May and the third egg on 8 May © Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Ospreys spend the UK winter in western Africa before returning to breed.
The male and female osprey share the incubation for 37 days, during which time the male catches fish for them both.
In 1996, the Rutland Osprey Project (run by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust) begun reintroducing ospreys to England.
The species had suffered from the use of pesticides and had been persecuted to extinction in England by the Victorians.
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