What beautiful sunrise mornings we’ve been having this week at Loch of the Lowes: still waters reflecting pink and gold sunrises, with bogbean and water lilies flowering on the water and bird song everywhere- however, this is all happening between 3.30 and 4am so you’ll have to get up early to see it! The nights are getting very short, giving our birds the ideal conditions for hunting for their families.
Our male Osprey has increased his fish deliveries to between four and five a day- more than enough for mum and the wee chick who is seven days old on Monday night! You will no doubt have noticed just how much the wee one has changed over that time- already it seems to be double to size of the eggs of its siblings and its hard to imagine it ever fitted into one of them! This picture also shows how much it has changed- it is also more coordinated and strong enough to waddle across the nest towards food independently.
Some more questions relating to our other eggs etc:
Q: Have eggs 2 and 3 been incubated enough still to hatch?
A: We believe so, and as this bird is such an experienced parent, it would be highly unlikely she would do less than needed for the other two eggs- she has never before neglected eggs in favour of a chick. Only time will tell if the eggs are ok.
Q: Could the other eggs have overheated? Could the egg shells have become too hard for the chicks to be able to hatch?
A: It is unlikely the eggs got too hot ( incubation temperature is usually over 30 degrees c) but humidity is also important, and it could be that the hot dry weather may have made the shells tougher than normal. However, you would expect to at least see some cracking in the shell, if a chick is trying to break through.
Q: if these two eggs don’t hatch how will we know why?
A: If these eggs don’t hatch, and they survived the next few weeks intact, we may be able to apply for a license to remove them for study, once the chick has fledged and there is not risk of disturbing it. Analysis of the eggs should tell us if they were ever fertile ( as was the case last year) or at what stage embryos died, if this is the case.
Q: The female osprey seems constantly restless and doesn’t seem to sleep well- is she ok?
A: This is something the night watch team have commented on before- how the female osprey slept soundly during incubation, but how as hatching approached she became more restless, and now she has a live young one, she doesn’t get much peace. However, this is normal for her and not something to worry about.