Monday, 20 April 2009

News of Previous Osprey Chicks

Whilst the torturous wait for the first egg of 2009 on our main osprey nest goes on , I thought I'd share some good news with everyone about some of our previous osprey offspring.

As everyone knows, the odds are stacked against our chicks, with a survival rate in the first 12 months estimated to be between just 25-50%.

At his excellent recent talk in Edinburgh , Roy Dennis pointed out that even on the nest it is not unusual for not all chicks to survive to fledge as this depends entirely on fish supply and therefore directly on the skill and dedication of the male bird. We are very lucky that our main nest male is such an excellent provider!

Add to this the many hazards of their first lonely long migration and their first couple of years in Africa, and we can only expect a small number of the birds we watch growing up here making it back as adults to breed in the future.

However, there are bright examples such as one of our chicks born in 2005 in the Tweed Valley. The female chick was fitted with a green darvic ring 'DE' , and she was first seen at Rutland Water in East Anglia in July 2007, where she stayed until September, as is common in juvenile birds. She was seen again in 2008, but has not yet made an appearance in 2009.

The definition of true success for a project like ours is to know that our birds become part of the breeding population and future of the species, so we hope she survives and makes Rutland her home!

Incidentally the other chick from the same 2005 nest, also a female, was found dead (apparently electrocuted) in Cordoba Spain on 16th September 2008, she had flown a distance of 2000km from the nest site to the site where she was recovered.

Another chick hatched near Peebles in 2003 was reported to have flown free after being found injured after being downed by the downdraft of a Hercules aircraft at a fish farm on Loch Ken in 2008.

Lets hope 2009 is the year we get more news of the fate of our Tweed Valley Osprey chicks!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emma, I was at Roy Dennis' talk too - excellent, so interesting and informative. Thanks for info about DE - how exciting. Someone asked me about DE on the LG blogs hence why I called you. Can you tell me if DE is from the main nest or the backup? Just wondering if this is Errol's sister. Thanks - Karen


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