Osprey Diary 15th June

There have already been several breakfasts delivered to the osprey nest at Loch of the Lowes by our capable father bird.
The two chicks are really colouring up now that more of their juvenile feathers are coming through. This is the classic mottled or speckled appearance they will wear for a year or more, which is distinct from the adults clearly marked brown and white. There are obvious advantages to being camouflaged when you are a young and inexperienced bird.
Some of you have been asking about gender differences between the chicks. There are general rules with ospreys, though they do not have massively difference male and female forms like some birds. Females are always 20-30% bigger as adults than males. Female ospreys can also be more coloured in their plumage- but there is a lot of individual variation.
Whilst one of our chicks is a wee bit bigger than the other, this may just be an age and status advantage at this stage- it is probably too early to say if the larger one is a female. The only way to really tell the gender of a juvenile osprey (there being no external plumbing so to speak) is to do leg measurements – often done at ringing. The females will be heftier eventually and therefore have bigger, thicker legs.
Do we have boy and a girl? We will have to wait and see…..
Emma Rawling Perthshire Ranger

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Preface

There have already been several breakfasts delivered to the osprey nest at Loch of the Lowes by our capable father bird. The two chicks are really colouring up now that …

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