Meet the class of 2013!

Nearly six weeks ago, when the Manton Bay chicks were only six weeks old, Tim reported that 2013 has been a record year with at least thirteen chicks in five nests. Excitingly, we now know that there are FOURTEEN chicks this year, and (touch wood) they have all successfully fledged!

5R and his mate have now successfully raised eleven chicks since 2009 and if you follow the website you’ll be well acquainted with the Manton Bay youngsters, 1J (M), 2J (F) and 3J (F).

1J, 2J and 3J

1J, 2J and 3J

It’s been another fantastic year for ‘Mr Rutland’ at Site B – 03(97) has raised three chicks, bringing his total to 30 since 2001! All three chicks are doing well and are now spending prolonged periods away from the nest. Below is a photo of 4J (F), 5J (F) and 6J (M) when they were ringed at the beginning of July.

From left to right 4J, 5J & 6J

From left to right 4J, 5J & 6J

A four-year old male has bred at Site O this year. 03(09) paired up with the metal-ringed Scottish female who first bred at Site O in 2009, last summer, but his inexperience and late arrival meant that the female did not lay eggs. This spring it was a different story; 03 returned much earlier and the pair now have three very healthy chicks, 7J (M), 8J (F) and 9J (M). These three chicks are fourth generation Rutland Ospreys – their great grandfather is 03(97) at Site B! A real sign that the Rutland population is now self-sustaining.

7J, 8J and 9J

7J, 8J and 9J

At Site N, 5N(04) has raised two chicks with another four year-old male, 01(09), and the juvenile males, 1K and 2K, have now been on the wing for several weeks. Fledging is always a dangerous time for the youngsters and the Site N chicks certainly had us all worried for a while. Both young males fledged when we had terrible stormy weather and neither returned to the nest for more than 30 hours after only being on the wing for a day or two. It was a great relief when both chicks returned to the nest and since then they’ve been busy doing what young Ospreys should be doing – food begging, eating and strengthening their wings.

Site N chicks - 1K and 2K

Site N chicks – 1K and 2K

The surprise addition to the class of 2013 are the chicks from Site C. In mid-April two three-year-old birds, male 11(10) and female 25(10) paired up at another nest on private land. This is a nest that has been used once before – by a pair of translocated birds in 2003. Like the other returning three year-olds, we thought that 11 and 25 would spend their summer wandering around Rutland and perhaps exploring further afield. Not these two though. 25 laid eggs in late April and over the last week 3K (F), 4K (M) and 5K (F) have all made their maiden flights. It’s exceptional that two first-time breeders have produced three chicks!

If, like me, you sometimes get confused by all the ring numbers, here’s a handy table showing all the 2013 youngsters…

Rutland Ospreys 2013

10 responses to “Meet the class of 2013!”

  1. Steve Boulter

    An amazing achievement. All involved in the Project should be so proud of what has been achieved. I salute you all.

  2. Lynda Berry


  3. Ian Lane

    A great year for the project and with other Osprey projects in the UK doing well it looks like a great year for Ospreys all around. A+++++++

  4. Mike Simmonds

    What a fantastic achievement for all at Rutland. Congratulations.

  5. Linda Yarrow

    Congratulations Rutland, 14 chicks, that is brilliant:-)

  6. Dee Ewing

    What a fantastic result – especially the 3 year olds. You have a great site and wonderfully managed reserve. Well done to all concerned.

  7. Midland Ice Age

    My first attempt at this…..

    I have followed Rutland Ospreys for 3 years and included 2 visits.

    Wonderful achievement to Tim and ALL the staff (including all the helpers).

    It must be wonderful for you to have a pair from 2010 already bringing up 3 chicks.

    It clearly shows the project could now be self sustaining.


  8. Keith Rogers

    Michelle – Thank You for sharing all record fourteen birds with us. Your project moves further year to year.

  9. Jim Wells

    Great news. Well done to all concerned.

  10. Andy, London UK

    That’s a super shot of “The K Twins”, you get a real idea of the size of these boys.

    Having followed the rearing of the Manton Bay family from near the beginning, I should say how rewarding it has been to share the story at first hand, so to speak. It has been magnificent so far and I wish them all a safe passage when the time comes. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to watch and learn about such wonderful creatures.