First osprey chick of season hatches at Scottish wildlife reserve

A Scottish wildlife reserve has had seen its first osprey chick of the season hatch.

Staff, volunteers and webcam watchers from around the world were given a glimpse of a hole in one of the three eggs in the nest at 6.20pm.

An hour later the chick hatched at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes reserve.

Sara Rasmussen, Perthshire Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’ve been keeping an eye on the nest around the clock for several weeks to keep it safe from disturbance.

“Seeing the eggs begin to hatch is hugely rewarding for our team.

“The first few weeks of a chick’s life are exciting to watch because they develop and grow so quickly.

“This fast development is vital to allow them to make a long journey south at the end of summer.”

In the first few hours after hatching, chicks are weak and unable to sit up or lift their heads.

However, the young bird will gain strength fuelled on a high-protein diet of fish provided by his parents.

Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th century.

They began to recover in the 1960s and today around 250 pairs breed in the UK each summer.

This recovery is thanks to the efforts of conservation charities.