The Scottish Wildlife Trust is pleased to announce the hatching of an osprey chick, which could become the 50th chick to fledge from the bird affectionately known by many as ‘Lady’. The event has been celebrated by our volunteers, members and webcam followers around the world.
At about 8.45am on Saturday 1 June, Wildlife Interpretation Officer Val Gall spotted the first signs in one of the eggs. This tiny hole and subsequent crack progressed remarkable quickly to a full hatching. The top came off the egg and by about 10am the chick was free of its egg shell.
The male brought in a fish around 11.30am and the chick had its first meal of tiny amounts of shredded fish that afternoon, served with tender care by the female. The female has stashed some fish, tucking it under her whilst incubating, to ensure there is plenty available to give the chick ‘little and often’ meals.
The chick looks strong and healthy, with its instinct to reach up for food just as it should. It is absolutely normal for newly hatched chicks to find it difficult to lift their heads up as they have weak neck muscles and poor balance – not surprising after the mammoth effort of emerging from the egg shell.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust hopes it might be joined in time by another sibling.
Ranger Emma Rawling said: “Thank you to everyone who has called, emailed and tweeted – its lovely to know so many people worldwide are sharing our excitement and joy at this chick’s safe arrival, especially after such a long anxious wait. It’s the birds who deserve the congratulations though – especially our remarkable veteran female, who has done it again in her 23rd breeding year here on the reserve.
“Every osprey chicks hatched in the UK is still precious as the species recovers from local extinction, and we hope this chick will go on to aid the re-population of the osprey’s old home in ranges across the UK.
“If this chick survives to fledging, it will be this female’s 50th offspring to make it to adulthood – a truly remarkable achievement.”
The osprey watch is part-funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – and gives 24-hour protection to the osprey eggs. Kate Pearson from People’s Postcode Lottery said: ““Players of People’s Postcode Lottery will be delighted by the news that the osprey egg has hatched.”
The chick can be seen on the webcam at Loch of the Lowes by accessing scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/ospreycam.