More Osprey migration news tomorrow folks- not long now until the adult birds begin to move northwards, and until our birds arrive back at Loch of the Lowes- hopefully!
We are already getting questions about spring migration and the breeding season so here’s a quick recap of what to expect from the coming year :
- Our Birds usually arrive in the last week of March or early April.
- The female is usually first to arrive, followed by the male, between 1 and 10 days later
- Eggs are normally laid by the end of April.
- Chicks on this nest generally hatch late May or early June
- Chicks fledge at about 7 weeks old- generally late July
- The family usually stays at the nest until August.
- The female leaves on migration first, often early August
- The male and chicks hang around our area until late August or early September (sometimes later) but are seen at the nest less and less.
Q: Will we see Blue 44 or Blue YD back in Perthshire in 2013?
A: No, young ospreys tend to take a ‘gap year’ holiday in Africa when they first migrate successfully, being driven to return to Scotland only when they are ready to breed about 2-4years of age usually.
Q; Will “Lady” or the Loch of the Lowes male have left Africa yet?
A: It is possible, as the journey can take up to three or four weeks in spring, depending on weather. Some birds, particularly females, however, seem to fly further and more non stop in spring, taking as little as 10days, perhaps because they want to get back to their traditional nest before anyone else steals it! This is one of the theories as to why it is almost always females who arrive back from Africa first.
Q: Will “Lady” make it back this year?
A: We don’t know but we certainly hope so- it depends on her health, the migration and a good deal of luck. She is a very experienced bird, but her great age is now against her- all we can do is hope and keep wishing for her safe return.
Q: What if she doesn’t return, what will happen to the nest?
A: This would be a very sad day, but if she doesn’t return, there is a strong likelihood that another female osprey will take over the nest. This is a prime site, with a very eligible widower so to speak, and is bound to attract a young female bird ( such as those who often visit every spring and get seen off by our resident female). However, there is no guarantee that the new pair will successfully breed as inexperience often means they don’t succeed their first year nesting.