Wildlife Blog 14th May 2011

Events from the nest today:

It is now over a month since the first egg was laid by our female on the 13th April and here, at Loch of the Lowes, staff and volunteers continue to wait with hope to find out if the eggs are viable and any hatch. We can reasonably expect an egg to hatch in a week’s time on 20th May as this will be 37 days (the average incubation period) after the first egg was laid.

Throughout the day, our famous pair of ospreys has been incubating the three eggs. Our male, 7y, has been continuing to bring nesting material, ensuring the nest maintains the shape needed at this stage in the season. At 10.06am our male returned to the nest with a delivery of part of a fish for our female. Not only had the head been consumed, but also the majority of the fish. Our female left for over an hour to eat the fish and have a break from incubation.

A question we received via ospreys@swt.org.uk asked about osprey eyesight. Like all raptors, ospreys have incredibly sharp vision. This enables them to hunt for fish efficiently. Ospreys, along with other birds of prey, have large eyes in proportion to their size compared to other birds – up to 40% bigger than birds of equal weight. An osprey’s retina is loaded with receptors, which means that it is capable of distinguishing shapes from a great distance. Raptors in general are known to have vision up to 8 times better than a human. As ospreys are diurnal (active in the daytime) they are likely to have poor low light vision. Ospreys also have a ‘third eyelid’. This is a semi-transparent membrane which is used to protect the eye during a dive for fish, whilst still enabling the osprey to see.  An osprey’s keen eyesight is used to hunt successfully for fish, as well as to look out for any threats from intruders.

Other queries we have received via ospreys@swt.org.uk have been regarding the satellite tracing programme. Full details of this can be found on our dedicated webpage; so for answers to any of your questions, follow this link:

http://www.swt.org.uk/wildlife/ospreys-at-lowes/osprey-tracking/

For any more queries into our ospreys that you may have, check our dedicated FAQ page and see if you can find the answer you are looking for:

http://www.swt.org.uk/wildlife/ospreys-at-lowes/frequently-asked-questions/

Other wildlife at Loch of the Lowes:

The majority of the 12 blue tit eggs have now hatched. The first hatched at 6.04am with the others hatching intermittently throughout the day.

Elsewhere on the loch, 3 great crested grebes were along with 4 mute swans, around 25 mallards with 2 sets of ducklings (one of 6 and one of 7) and a merganser. Also a green sandpiper, 2 oystercatchers were seen while sand martins, house martins, swallows, swifts and black headed gulls were seen over the loch.

Meanwhile, at the feeders, were pheasants, great spotted woodpeckers, a robin, a redstart, blue tits, coal tits, great tits, a tree creeper, chaffinches, greenfinches, siskins and yellowhammers. Two red squirrels were seen today feeding on peanuts at the box feeder.

Anna

Perthshire Reserves Seasonal Ranger

Preface

Events from the nest today: It is now over a month since the first egg was laid by our female on the 13th April and here, at Loch of the …

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