Osprey chicks named at wildlife reserve following online poll

The names Willow and Sarafina were chosen by fans who have watched them grow on the nest camera.

Loch Arkaig osprey chicks named Willow and Sarafina after thousands respond to online poll Lewis Pate

Two osprey chicks who have captured the hearts of fans across the world have been officially named following an online poll.

The chicks at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in Lochaber have been named Willow and Sarafina, which were the top picks in the vote.

Fans have been watching the Loch Arkaig ospreys since 2017 through a livestreaming nest camera supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

George Anderson of Woodland Trust Scotland said: “Thanks to everyone who helped us pick names for this year’s chicks, which are due to take their first flights very soon. 

“It has been amazing to watch them grow in a matter of weeks from little fluffballs into young birds that will soon cross continents. Their world up until now has been a nest the width of a double bed.”

Several hundred name suggestions for the chicks were received via social media which were then whittled down by a panel of volunteers before going to an online public vote.

Other suggested names included Jubilee, Caorunn, Beithe and Dessarry.

 Sarafina is an African name reflecting the osprey’s other home with its meaning derived from “bright star”.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode lottery added: “Once again, the Loch Arkaig ospreys have captured hearts across the country and the world. 

“We are delighted that support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps bring this wild slice of highland forest life to people everywhere.”

In 2020 Arkaig chicks were named Doddie, Vera and Captain in honour of Doddie Weir, Dame Vera Lynn and Captain Sir Tom Moore. 

Other names over the years have included Lachlan, Mallie, Rannoch, Aspen and Alder.

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