Wildlife Blog 5th May 2011

Events at the nest today:

Our male osprey has been busying himself with bringing in nesting material today. He has brought in moss and sticks with which to keep the nest in a fit condition for incubation. However, at 12:05pm he flew in to the nest with a fish which the female then flew away with it to eat elsewhere.

A question we received via ospreys@swt.org.uk asked us whether the juvenile ospreys return to nest at the same site and what we know about their survival rate. Research has shown that ospreys will return to the same region to breed. Our male 7Y was ringed locally. Unfortunately we do not know what has happened to previous years’ chicks as none of these were ringed. However, this year we are hoping to raise enough money to satellite track at least one of the chicks if they should hatch. For more information on our satellite tracking program, follow this link: http://www.swt.org.uk/wildlife/osprey-tracking/

Other Wildlife at Loch of the Lowes:

The first break in the long run of good weather we have had over the past couple of weeks has come at last. Out on the loch, three Canada geese and two mute swans could be seen braving the rain. Fourteen mallard, along with 9 ducklings were recorded.

At the feeders, three pheasant, three great spotted woodpecker, blue tits, chaffinches, siskins, greenfinches, great tits, coal tits, a blackbird and a robin and two yellowhammers could be seen through the viewing window. As for mammals, two bank voles, a field vole and a wood mouse were spotted. Three red squirrels were seen at the peanut feeders at various points in the day.

The call of a cuckoo could be heard drifting over from the golf course. This sound is often associated with summer and is very evocative. The birds themselves are somewhat strange in nature, due to the fact that they do not rear their young themselves. The female cuckoo will seek out the nest of a bird such as a reed warbler which already contains eggs, and lays an egg of it own in the nest while the birds are away. The chick will then hatch before the reed warblers eggs and physically push them over the edge of the nest. This leaves the cuckoo chick in a prime position to receive all of the reed warbler’s deliveries of food and grows to a huge size, dwarfing the parent birds who continue to feed it despite its unusual appearance. This survival technique has proved a very effective one for this species.

Simon

SITA Species Protection Officer

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Events at the nest today: Our male osprey has been busying himself with bringing in nesting material today. He has brought in moss and sticks with which to keep the …

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