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    Avocet chicks hatch at Slimbridge Wetland Centre

    NewsBird NewsFriday 18 May 2012
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    Birdtrader

    A type of wading bird that was driven to extinction in Britain at one point has hatched in Gloucestershire.

    Two avocet chicks have been born to a breeding pair at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, with the hatching of a third egg possible.

    A Slimbridge spokeswoman said she thought it was the first time the birds had bred in Gloucestershire.

    Staff have built an electric fence around the nest to protect it from predators.

    'Very vulnerable'
    The distinctive black-and-white birds became extinct in Britain in the 19th Century due to habitat destruction and people collecting their skin and eggs.

    The species was reintroduced to the UK in 1940 and the centre says numbers have now slowly recovered.

    Dave Paynter, head of reserve at Slimbridge, said staff had been monitoring the nest for a long time.

    "The next few days and weeks will be critical as they are very vulnerable before they grow a bit bigger," he said.

    "We will be keeping our fingers crossed for them and following their progress."

    Source: BBC News

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