Osprey Diary 12th June

Another mixture of sunshine and showers here at Loch of the Lowes today, but it remains  warm which is a real boon for our Osprey chick as it reaches 2 weeks old.

It is growing at a rate of knots and is already double the size of the eggs in the nest, and is beginning to darken into the ‘grey stage’ that all osprey chicks go through, that makes them look vaguely reptilian.

We have had lots of intruder dramas over the nest this afternoon, with two other ospreys again seen over the loch- met be alarm whistles from our female which quickly drew her mate back to defend her. These other ospreys are unlikely to be a threat to the chick but can be a real nuisance.

Q: What will happen to the unhatched eggs?

A: In the past in this nest, unhatched eggs have been either ignored and left lying around until they are either buried in the nest, or broken by one of their siblings. Occasionally adult Ospreys remove unhatched eggs from the nest.

 Q: When will the chick fledge and reach full size?

A: If we are lucky and this chick does well, it will fledge around the end of July. They generally take 7- 8 weeks before they fledge and reach full adult size. For more details on what is normal when during the chicks development, please see our FAQ page ( link at the top of this page

 Q: What Gender is the chick?

A: The short answer is that we don’t know yet if it is male or female. There is no ‘external plumbing’ in birds, and in Ospreys no clear and consistent difference in plumage (unlike say in ducks) so clues are very small. Generally female Ospreys will end up 30% larger than the males but in chicks with different ages and feeding, this can be misleading as an older well fed male may be larger than a poorly nourished or younger female. Experts can usually tell at ringing if the chick has thicker legs that it is a female- but the only way to be 100% sure is a DNA test, or waiting for 3 years to see its behaviour at mating! 

Q: Why is the chick lying on the eggs- is it trying to mimic its parents incubating behaviour?

A: The chick is using the eggs as a handy support- almost like a pillow! It is treating them as just part of the furniture in the nest and something convenient to lean on, not really incubating them.

Q: Why does the webcam look different again?

A: There were some tweaks done yesterday to the webcam and it seems to have upset the streaming for some people. We have had our techno boffin at HQ looking into it today- I am waiting for their advice this evening and will be sure to share it with you asap.

Ranger Emma

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Another mixture of sunshine and showers here at Loch of the Lowes today, but it remains  warm which is a real boon for our Osprey chick as it reaches 2 …

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