Wildlife Diary Sunday May 20th

Well, no Osprey eggs have hatched so far today, but that hasn’t stopped it being one of the most beautiful and pleasant days here of the spring so far. Glorious sunshine has bathed the loch all day (despite it being a chilly 4 degrees at 2am this morning) and the light breeze has been just enough to keep the midges at bay.

Both our Ospreys have had turns at incubation and our male has excelled himself with no fewer than three fish delivered to his mate on the nest. Interestingly the time she spent away eating them was comparatively short today- perhaps a sign she is sticking close to the nest as hatching nears? Female ospreys tend to get more ‘stay at home’ closer to hatching, and when the chicks appear, they will rarely leave, and no longer tend to let the males take over, preferring to tend to the chicks themselves.

We have also noticed the female turning the eggs more often today- but whether this is because hatching is nearing, or simply in response to the warmer weather, is unclear, although she also turned them more frequently than average last night too. There has been some stick re- arrangement on the nest too, but no other major excitements.

A wee hello and a wave to the visitors from the Wildlife Village group who were with us today- it was lovely to meet so many of you ( and see familiar faces) and thank you from all of us for your generous gifts of biscuits and chocolate- the key to the heart of our team of staff and volunteers alike! We hope you had a great day.

Lastly a couple more Osprey Q and A’s

Q: What will happen if the male Osprey doesn’t bring more fish in when the chicks are born?

A: The Female will nag and nag and nag to encourage him- and hopefully his genetic instinct to provide for his offspring will kick in . However, nature will take its course- if there is not enough food, not all chicks will survive (this is not uncommon).

Q : How far horizontally from the nest can an osprey poop shot go?  Has anyone ever figured out how much pressure is required to make it happen or at what speed it is traveling?

A:  I have to confess this question has me stumped. From my experience assisting with ringing Ospreys at many nests , I know that ‘splash’ from the nest can be found up to three or five meters radius around a nest ( some folks even reckon they can tell the age of chicks on a  raptor nest  by how far ‘splash’ lands from the tree). However, as to what pressure is required: I confess I have no idea! Any ideas anyone?

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Preface

Well, no Osprey eggs have hatched so far today, but that hasn’t stopped it being one of the most beautiful and pleasant days here of the spring so far. Glorious …

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