Wildlife reserve welcomes third osprey chick

All three osprey chicks have now hatched in their nest at a wildlife reserve in Perth and Kinross.

The third chick emerged at around 6pm on Saturday May 22 at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve.

It joined its older siblings, which hatched on Tuesday and Thursday.

This season is the second as a breeding pair for female osprey NCO and male osprey LM12 after they successfully fledged one chick last year.

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Sara Rasmussen, Perthshire ranger with the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: “We were thrilled to see the chick burst out of its shell.

“There was relatively little notice this one was on the way because part of another eggshell had found its way on to the remaining egg, fitting it like a cap and potentially hiding early signs of hatching.

“Ospreys gain 70% of their body weight in the first month of their lives and we can see the youngsters developing almost daily. It’s amazing to think that in around 12-13 weeks these tiny chicks will be young birds capable of migrating all the way to Africa.

“Even though all of the chicks have hatched, the nest is still vulnerable to disturbance.

“Our staff and volunteers, with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will continue to keep watch over these amazing birds of prey to ensure they are safe and secure.”

People can watch the nest on the live osprey webcam.

Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th century but began to recover in the 1960s and an estimated 300 pairs now breed in the UK each summer.

The trust’s Osprey Protection Programme is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “It’s great to learn that all three eggs have now hatched at Loch of the Lowes.

“I’m delighted that, thanks to the support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the ospreys at the reserves are enjoying another successful breeding season. We’ll be watching the webcam closely as these young birds develop.”