27 Jun 2016 / Sara Royle
A PAIR of rare birds have begun breeding in Cumbria.
The hen harriers are breeding at RSPB Geltsdale, the nature conservation charity have revealed.
Wardens visited the nest under licence last week and were delighted to discover the female bird of prey was incubating five eggs.
Steve Westerberg, site manager at RSPB Geltsdale, said: "We’re delighted that we have hen harriers breeding on the reserve once again. It’s an incredibly nerve-wracking time but we’re crossing our fingers that we’ll see fledged young in a few months time.
"Staff and volunteers are watching the nest around the clock to prevent unnecessary disturbance, and we have spoken to our neighbouring estates about the birds so they can play their part in helping to ensure that the birds are safe when they leave our reserve to hunt."
The hen harrier nest is believed to be one of only three in England this year.