Our Osprey chick has been successfully ringed and satellite tagged today by the small expert team- in a record 20minutes!
First the details of our chick: It’s a boy! It is incredibly healthy and a very good weight, though not a large bird as is normal for a young male. Its development was judged normal for 6 weeks old and there was no sign of any health or developmental problems. He has been given the Darvic coloured leg ring of Blue (white numbers) 44, and a BTO metal ring number of 1412491. Its’ wing length is 33cms, and its’ weight was 1440grams. He was very calm and easy to handle, though still also quite feisty and gave our team a couple of pecks for good measure.
Whilst we were ringed the chick, the female osprey circled overhead alarm calling, as is normal and she landed on a nearby tree as soon as we left. She has been sitting nearby ever since- not far at all to the right of the nest camera. She doesn’t seem to have given the chick the ‘all clear’ message though, so it has stayed in the defensive position, staying very still in the nest to hide itself. As soon as she returns to the nest, or food arrives, we are sure the wee boy will be up and about happily. Roy Dennis assures me he has never, in many decades of doing this, had a parent bird fail to return to the nest after a ringing so we are not worried.
The process of ringing the chick was very quick and professional: first Keith Brockie of our local Raptor Study group, climbed the tree (no mean feat in itself) and picked the chick up from the nest. It was then placed in a bag and lowered to the base of the tree, for safety. The chicks was quickly weighed, measured and had its leg rings placed on its legs. Roy Dennis then placed the small ‘rucksack’ transmitter on the chick and sewed it in place. After a quick photo call, the chick was paced back in the bag and winched back up the tree to be placed in the nest. Amazingly this all took about 20mins, and with the half hour all staff etc were back across the loch and out of sight, to let the birds recover.
We also removed the two unhatched eggs at the same time, and will be sending this for analysis- but first indications show that neither contains a chick.
We will be posting photographs and video of this process for you as soon as we can: we will be posting this video as soon as we have had time to edit it.
Please also read the blog post above about the ringing and satellite tagging process.
Emma Rawling, Perthshire Ranger
5pm Update: Our female Osprey has returned to the nest after the male brought in a large fish and has fed happily- he looks strong and well .