This year, the Woodland Trust and the Wildlife Trusts have both seen their returning ospreys reveal chicks within their nests. Thanks to funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery, you can keep an eye on their progress via Woodland Trust's Loch Arkaig webcam and the Scottish Wildlife Trusts's Loch of the Lowes webcam.
Woodland Trust's Ospreys: Aila And Louis
Ospreys Aila and Louis are currently looking after two chicks, after returning to their nest at Loch Arkaig for another year on 4th April.
The nest camera has captured the whole story of this young pair who first got together at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in 2017 - successfully raising their first chick, called Lachlan. They were not so successful in 2018 as a pine marten made off with their clutch of eggs.
This year Aila and Louis produced three eggs. One didn't fully hatch but the others produced an energetic pair of youngsters who are growing fast!
Jill Donnachie of Woodland Trust Scotland, said, "Louis and Aila are shaping up to be fantastic parents, but there is always some drama going on. The live stream from the nest is a real-life natural soap opera. This year's action has included a turf-war with a tawny owl, and some pretty intense sibling rivalry in the nest. It is great to be able to give people who might never be able to visit this amazing woodland, a view into its wild heart."
Woodland Trust Scotland has partnered with Arkaig Community Forest, a local community-based group sharing their long-term goals for the 1,027-hectare site. Together, they'll carefully and sensitively restore native woodland habitats across the entire forest and demonstrate the ecological, social and economic value of ancient woodland restoration.
Scottish Wildlife Trust's Ospreys: LF15 And LM12
Scottish Wildlife Trust ospreys LF15 and LM12 are also looking after two new chicks in their nest at Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve!
Sadly, a third chick died on 26th May, just a couple of weeks after hatching. However, life on the loch never stands still. The remaining two chicks have grown quickly, fuelled by a diet of fish brought to the nest by their dedicated dad LM12.
Ospreys were extinct in Britain and, when they first arrived back at Loch of the Lowes in 1969, the reserve was one of just five places in the UK where they could be found. The reserve has played a key role in their recovery over the last 50 years, and more than 80 chicks have been raised there.
Happily, today around 250 pairs breed in the UK, but the species still needs help. Nests are vulnerable to human disturbance and egg thieves. At Loch of the Lowes, a team of more than 40 volunteers keeps watch over the nest until all the eggs have hatched.
Sara Rasmussen, Perthshire Ranger at Scottish Wildlife Trust, said, "Support from players of People's Postcode Lottery is vital to helping our team keep a close eye on these birds, and share their inspiring story with the public."
Discussing both projects, Sanjay Singh, Senior Programmes Manager at People's Postcode Lottery, added, "These are two fantastic projects and so many people are captivated by the ospreys' return each year. We are all rooting for the chicks to thrive this year!"
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