What a defensive lot we have in our wee osprey family! This morning all three (mum and two chicks) were happily roosting in the trees opposite the hide- you may have seen me zooming in on them – from where they can survey their domain. They show little interest in the nest now (far too grown up for that obviously!) UNLESS someone else gets too close (in this case an intruder osprey). What a lightening fast reaction- all three of them appeared within seconds and began mantling (covering the nest with dropped wings and squawking) over the nest like it was still the most precious thing in the world to them.
There has been a lot of discussion about our female osprey’s weight recently- we estimate she lost up to a third of her bodyweight during her dramatic illness. Rest assured she is slowly regaining weight (despite always favouring the chicks over herself with food) but we would not yet say she is back to ‘before-illness’ weight, and we would like to see her put more on before she attempts autumn migration. By the way, we judge a birds weight at the front over the chest- what is known as the ‘keel’ or breastbone, is where birds carry their fat reserves.