Delight after two osprey chicks hatch at wildlife reserve

A pair of ospreys have hatched two chicks during their breeding season at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire.

The female osprey, known as NC0, and her male partner, LM12, both arrived back at their nest within six hours of each other on 17 March to start their fourth breeding season together.

They have now hatched two chicks, with the first born on 13 May and the second joining its sibling three days later.

Both hatchings were viewed on the Trust’s osprey webcam where people from around the world can watch activity live from the nest.

Perthshire Ranger Sara Rasmussen is delighted the osprey pair have got to the egg hatching stage of raising a new brood to boost Scotland’s osprey population.

‘There are so many momentous occasions during the osprey breeding season, including their successful arrival back to Scotland from an arduous migration, pairing up, breeding and laying eggs,’ she said.

‘Two chicks successfully hatching is another fantastic milestone to celebrate.’

There was concern after the male bird failed to bring a fish back to the nest for more than three days, but rangers now think he might have sustained an injury trying to defend the nest from intruders.

During the breeding season, male ospreys are responsible for bringing fish to the nest to sustain the female and the chicks.

The female osprey was ringed as a chick near Loch Ness in 2016.

She first bred in 2020 and has successfully raised five chicks with male, LM12.

This will be the 12th breeding season for LM12 at Loch of the Lowes.

Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th Century but began to recover in the 1960s.

An estimated 300 pairs of ospreys now breed in the UK each summer, with most birds migrating to West Africa.

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.

Plus, don’t miss the June issue of Scottish Field magazine.