Hidden camera to reveal secret lives of special birds of prey in Thetford Forest
- Credit: Archant
Nesting within Thetford Forest these goshawks will help both visitors conservationist learn more about the bird of prey.
As part of the Breaking New Ground Partnership's (BNG) Wings Over the Brecks project, camera footage of young chicks in the nest is streamed live to the High Lodge Visitor Centre and Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Weeting Heath to show the secret lives of species including goshawks and stone curlews.
However this is the first time the hawks have re-used an old nest and the original camera is still wired up which means people are able to see the eggs hatching.
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Occasional glimpses of the eggs show there are five - normally one or two will hatch out - and these are due to hatch at the end of this week.
Nick Dickson, BNG manager, said there are a lot of conservational benefits: 'We are finding a lot of new data from a scientific point of view.
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'We can see how long they incubate and when they hatch we can find out information about what the chicks eat and how we can manage the forest landscape to ensure the right prey is available.'
It is believed the pair of hawks have nested in the same area of the forest for several years.
A volunteer, who identifies the nest sites, watched out for their dramatic display flights - known as the sky-dance - in late winter and early spring.
He then had the challenge of working out which of the many trees that have platforms of twigs high up in the canopy was their nest this year.
There are approximately 15 pairs in Thetford Forest and they have increased in recent years so there is more of a chance of people spotting them.
BNG is delivering a £2.2m scheme with a series of landscape and heritage conservation projects for the Brecks, with the help of a £1.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Wing's Over the Brecks is one of those projects and is in partnership with the Forestry Commission, the RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology and Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
To keep up-to-date with the goshawks and to see when the eggs hatch, follow Breaking New Ground on Twitter or visit their website here