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Osprey project

Male oprey Mr Rutland with fish

Anglian Water's project to reintroduce the osprey to England has been an outstanding success.

Ospreys had not bred in England for more than 150 years, but close work with the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust resulted in English chicks hatching in 2001 at Rutland Water, our largest reservoir. Breeding pairs are also now established in Wales, Cumbria and Northumberland as an indirect result of our work.

During 2007, the project reached another milestone: the first English-hatched bird to breed. A female from 2004's brood returned to Rutland Water and partnered with an older male who had changed location from Scotland in 1997. They raised two chicks. Sadly, they were not as successful in 2008 when their three eggs failed to hatch.

Breeding rates

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Nests 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 4  5
Chicks 1 0 5 2 3 3 5 3 9 12
Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 
 Nests  4  4  5  6  8  8
 Chicks  10  9  14  11  15  15


In 2011, two male ospreys were satellite tagged to help gain a better understanding of their migration route. Their journeys, covering over 3,000 miles from Rutland to their wintering grounds in Africa took around 16 days. The first osprey spent the winter in Senegal whilst the other flew to the Gambia before moving onto the Ivory Coast but sadly this osprey never returned.

2014 saw 17 year old Male Osprey 03(97) known locally as “Mr Rutland”, one of the translocate Ospreys from Scotland in 1997 raise his 32nd chick.


Full details of this award-winning project's history and successes can be on the Ospreys website.


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