The first osprey chick of 2018 has hatched at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire.
Our volunteers spotted a crack in one of the eggs at around 7:30 am this morning and about half an hour later female osprey LF15 stood up to reveal a tiny chick.
Perthshire Ranger Rachael Hunter said: “It’s exciting to have our first chick of the season. All being well the eggs will hatch in the same order as they were laid, and roughly the same amount of time apart. We could have three chicks in our nest by the end of the week, so I’d encourage people to keep their eye on our live osprey webcam to avoid missing out!
“Spring has had a relatively slow start this year and the ospreys are no exception. They are about a week behind where they were in 2017 but we could have a full clutch of three eggs by the weekend, and if LM12 can keep up with the large numbers of fish he will have to bring to the nest we’re fairly certain that we’ll have another successful season.”
Sanjay Singh, Senior Programmes Manager, People’s Postcode Lottery said: “Our players will be delighted that after several weeks of patient incubation LF15 has hatched her first chick of 2018. We’ll have our fingers crossed that the other two eggs hatch successfully.”
This is the ninth chick that has been born to the resident pair LM12 and LF15 since 2015.
Osprey chicks are initially covered in down, but start to grow new feathers within days, and will begin to stretch their wings in preparation for migration after just a few weeks. They grow very quickly thanks to a high protein diet of pike, trout and other fish brought to the nest by their parents.
Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre is open daily from 10am – 5pm with 24-hour access to the reserve hides. Our live osprey webcam ensures people from around the world can follow events as they happen.
Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th century. They began to recover in the 1960s and around 260 pairs of ospreys now breed in the UK each summer.
Our Osprey Protection Programme is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.