What a wet and miserable day for our Ospreys at Loch of the Lowes, where it has been raining hard most of the day. On days like these, fishing can be very hard for the male birds who have to provide for their families- as they rely entirely on visual skill to locate their prey and the waters can be very murky and hard to see through in heavy rain. It is at time such as these that our birds often seem to travel further afield in search of fish, struggle with more unsuccessful dives, and generally have a much lower rate of fish deliveries to the nest. Our poor female and her chick have been hungry all day, and the female has been very restless- taking off to look for the male and see if he is bringing a meal. However, both of them are in great condition and able to ride out the odd hungry day with no ill effects. It only becomes a real problem in prolonged spells of bad weather.
The chick has been left on its own for 20minutes or more- which is not a big problem at this stage, and most of the time the female was only a few trees away. However, it was interesting to hear it calling to her- the first time we’ve heard it vocalize much. The female was certainly very vocal this evening when she caught sight of her mate with food!
A young osprey alone is vulnerable to all sorts of opportunistic predators, and the most successful osprey nests in terms of offspring are those with experienced parents such as ours, who take no chances being ultra vigilant with their young chicks.
This is a link to an amazing video of some very unusual and fascinating behaviour- the predation of an osprey chick. Please be warned it may upset some readers. However, in this news item the RSPB makes a very good point- this is unusual but completely natural behaviour, and should not be used to demonize buzzards, an equally important bird of prey in our UK ecosystem balance.