06/09/2010
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Holkham Spoonbills fledge 10 young

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Earlier in the summer Natural England announced the unprecedented success of a colony of Spoonbills at Holkham National Nature Reserve (read more here). Final confirmation came today that a total of 10 chicks fledged from the colony, with family parties seen further along the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coast and young begging for food.

This is a significant breakthrough for one of the UK's rarest breeding birds, which has only bred four times in Britain in the last 300 years, and the number of successful nests in one place gives Natural England staff at Holkham hope that a new colony may become established on the site. The Spoonbills set up home in the mixed breeding colony of Cormorants, Grey Herons and Little Egrets already on the site.


One of the newly fledged Spoonbill chicks, Holkham NNR, Norfolk (film: naturalenglandvideo).

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Senior reserve manager Michael Rooney said: "The birds have benefited from nesting in dense trees surrounded by water, remote from human disturbance. We'd like to thank birdwatchers for leaving the nesting birds alone during those vital early weeks when adults are feeding their young. Six successful nests could be a sign of things to come here at Holkham, but only if the adults return knowing they can rear their young undisturbed."

Written by: Natural England