Wildlife Diary Friday July 6th

Our young Osprey Blue 44  has had it fill of brown trout etc today and continues to grow in front of our eyes! The sad news of further chick losses at other UK Osprey sites such as Kielder Water and FCS Aberfoyle, makes us even more grateful for our healthy bonny wee lad. Amazingly the first chick of the 2012 crop has just fledged at RSPB Glasyn in Wales too, though elsewhere in Scotland there are reportedly still some Ospreys sitting on eggs! What a topsy turvey challenging year for all our birds  it has been so far.

Some great news: I have finally finished editing and uploading the video of our momentous Osprey ringing and satellite tagging day from earlier this week. Thank you for your patience whilst I checked the  footage for anything  that could have jeopardised our birds future safety and security, which is why we did not transmit this live. Forgive my shaking camera work- I was very excited!

You can view the 7 minute video by following this link:

 http://youtu.be/C6THdM7FsS4

The video shows Keith Brockie climbing the nest tree and safely removing the chick and lowering it to the ground in a well ventilated bag. There he and Roy Dennis give the wee chick a quick health check, pronouncing him very well indeed,  and then attach the plastic Darvic ring to its leg- a painless procedure. Then Roy Dennis can be seem measuring and fitting the small ‘rucksack’ style harness or flexible cord that attaches the satellite transmitter, and sewing these threads together over the birds chest- which is the failsafe ‘break point’ at which the harness will break eventually and fall away at the end of its useful life. The chick is then returned to the nest via the bag again, safe and sound.

If you have any questions about the video or procedure, you can send them to ospreys@swt.org.uk and I will do my very best to answer them for you.

Q: What are you going to name the chick?

A: Thank you for all your  many suggestions about what to name the chick. We generally don’t have a policy of naming the birds here, and will be calling this wee chap Blue 44 according to his Darvic ring. Of course no doubt he will attract many nicknames too as we all watch his progress.

Q: Does the satellite transmitter emit any kind of sound or vibration the bird could hear?

A: No , the transmitter is silent, and ‘talks’ to the satellite in a wavelength that we or the birds cannot hear.

Q: If the chick had an accident could the transmitter be used to locate it?

A: Yes, and this is one of its most useful features. If something untoward did happen, we might be able to rescue our chick, or even if it is overseas, we could at least pinpoint where and what went wrong and whether anything preventable, such as human persecution, was to blame.

Q: How does the chick preen around the harness?

A: The harness and transmitter are not glued or attached to the feathers in any way- the tiny bit of glue you see Roy deploying in the video is to seal the stitches on the harness. This means the birds can grow , moult and preen easily, by moving the harness  to reach feathers underneath etc.

 

 

http://youtu.be/C6THdM7FsS4

Preface

Our young Osprey Blue 44  has had it fill of brown trout etc today and continues to grow in front of our eyes! The sad news of further chick losses …

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