First osprey chick of the season hatches at wildlife reserve

The Scottish Wildlife Trust said the first signs of hatching began to appear around 10.36pm on Wednesday.

Play icon Scottish Wildlife Trust

The first osprey chick of the season hatched at a reserve run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust on Thursday.

The egg was laid by a female bird coded NC0 at the Loch of Lowes wildlife reserve on April 12.

After several days of “dedicated incubation”, the Scottish Wildlife Trust said the first signs of hatching began to appear around 10.36pm on Wednesday.

The new chick fully emerged approximately 12 hours later, at 10.26am on Thursday.

The “tiny” chick will be joined by its two siblings over upcoming days, as osprey chicks tend to hatch approximately one to two days apart.

Trust: A tiny hole appeared on first eggshell around 10.36pm on Wednesday. Scottish Wildlife Trust
Trust: A tiny hole appeared on first eggshell around 10.36pm on Wednesday.

Sara Rasmussen, Perthshire ranger at the Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “We’re delighted to have our first osprey chick of the season. Hopefully it won’t be long until all three chicks have hatched out.

“Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, our staff and more than 60 volunteers have been keeping an eye on the nest around the clock for several weeks to keep the nest safe from disturbance. Seeing the eggs successfully hatch is a huge moment for the team.

“The first few weeks of a young osprey’s life are fascinating to watch. They develop incredibly quickly and they are noticeably different each day. This rapid development is vital, because they need to grow to adult size in time to make the long migration south at the end of the summer.”

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

Their populations only began to recover in the 1960s, and an estimated 300 pairs of ospreys now breed in the UK each summer.

Come winter, most of these birds migrate to West Africa – but some travel to Spain and Portugal.

Laura Chow, head of charities, People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We’re proud to support the Osprey Protection Programme at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve.

“I’m delighted that the team’s dedication has been rewarded with the hatching of a tiny osprey chick.”