Tyne & Wear

Kielder 'unfaithful' ospreys return to partners as egg laying begins

Nesting ospreys Image copyright Forestry Commission
Image caption At least six osprey eggs have been laid at Kielder Water and Forest Park

A pair of "unfaithful" ospreys have returned to their mates at a Northumberland forest to lay eggs.

Six ospreys at Kielder Water and Forest Park left for Africa but two flew back home ahead of the others, Northumberland Wildlife Trust said.

Once the four other birds returned, the "normally faithful" creatures went back to their original partners.

At least six eggs have been laid between the three pairs. The trust said it was "delighted".

'Normally faithful'

The fish-eating birds usually produce two or three eggs each.

Kelly Hollings, Northumberland Wildlife Trust estates officer, said: "We were delighted when the birds returned to their other halves as soon as they landed.

"We had hoped they would as ospreys normally form faithful pairs for life."

The eggs are expected to hatch in about five weeks.

Last year, the Kielder ospreys produced eight chicks from three nests.

For 150 years ospreys in England were nearing extinction, but they have bred successfully in the park since they re-colonised naturally in 2009.

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