Female osprey NC0 has laid a full clutch of three eggs at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire. The third egg was laid at 12:14pm on Monday 18 April.
This exciting moment came after a thrilling morning for osprey watchers, which saw a male and a female osprey intruding on the nest. The female landed on the nest twice, and visitors to the reserve witnessed spectacular chases as resident male osprey LM12 defended his territory.
The Trust’s Perthshire Ranger Sara Rasmussen said: “It’s great to see NC0 successfully lay three eggs and it seems very fitting that the last one arrived on Easter Monday. We’re now looking forward to seeing the tiny chicks start hatching out in a few weeks’ time.
“This is a critical time in the season. These eggs need to be kept warm to ensure the survival of the chicks. We will see NC0 incubating her eggs almost constantly, except for brief periods when she takes a break to eat the fish that LM12 brings her.”
NC0 laid her eggs on 12, 15 and 18 April. Osprey eggs are incubated for 5-6 weeks until they hatch. Eggs hatch around 1-2 days apart, in the order they were laid.
Laura Chow, Head of Charities, People’s Postcode Lottery said: “It’s so exciting to hear that NC0 has laid her third egg of the season. Our players will be pleased that their support is contributing to another successful season for these remarkable birds.”
Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th Century. They began to recover in the 1960s and an estimated 300 pairs of ospreys now breed in the UK each summer. Most of these birds migrate to West Africa but some winter in Spain and Portugal.
The recovery of ospreys is thanks to the efforts of conservation charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The Osprey Protection Programme at Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre & Wildlife Reserve is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre is currently open seven days a week from 10:30am to 5pm. The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s live osprey webcam ensures people from around the world can follow events as they happen.