Both our juvenile ospreys have been on the nest this morning, seeing off corvid intruders quite stridently. They are both handling looking after themselves remarkably well, although dad is still supplying fish. It is hard to imagine them flying south in as little as two or three weeks, all the way to Africa, a mammoth journey of up to 4,000 miles.
What always amazes me is that, unlike many of our migratory birds, the ospreys do this journey alone, not following a flock or even their parents, but setting out alone. Our juveniles will be setting out at the grand old age of three months or so, into the wide world alone, as nature intends. Once they get to Africa (if they survive the hazardous journey) they will spend a ‘gap-year’ holiday there, fro anything from a year to four years. When they reach sexual maturity, the instinct to breed will drive them back to where they were born, or close by, to start families of there own.
Just how ospreys navigate is of course, still a mystery- migration is one of natures biggest enigmas. We know they use a mixture or genetic instinct, visual clues, and [probably some sort of geomagnetic perception, but this is an area we are learning more about every year.
Meanwhile, come and enjoy watching our young birds at Loch of the Lowes, as they are still very much visible around the shores form the hides. It will only be a few short weeks until they leave us for another year.