Breeding ospreys reunite at Scottish wildlife park

For the first time ever, both the female osprey NC0 and her mate LM12 have arrived back at the Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve.

Dan Barker
Friday 17 March 2023 17:09 GMT
LM12 and NC0 on their nest together, having returned on the same day (Scottish Wildlife Trust)
LM12 and NC0 on their nest together, having returned on the same day (Scottish Wildlife Trust)

Two breeding ospreys have returned to their nest on the same day for the first time at a Scottish wildlife reserve – arriving within hours of each other.

Female NC0 arrived at her nest in the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire at 7.43am on Friday, and six hours later her mate LM12 returned – performing a sky dance just before landing.

Ranger Sara Rasmussen said she was delighted to see the pair back again at the loch, the first time ever the pair have arrived back on the same day.

“This is the earliest NC0 has ever arrived back and is looking in very good health after her long flight. She was ‘nestorating’ straight away – giving the nest a tidy up,” said Ms Rasmussen

“I was totally delighted to see her back this morning. When I saw her looking up from the nest into the sky, I grabbed a pair of binoculars and sure enough she had spotted her breeding mate LM12. Last year, LM12 was first back with a record date of March 13.

“It is wonderful to have them both back together to breed and on the same day makes it extra special.”

NC0 was ringed as a chick near Loch Ness in 2016, and first bred in 2020. She has successfully raised five chicks.

And this will be the 12th breeding season for male osprey LM12 at Loch of the Lowes.

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

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

Most of these birds migrate to West Africa, but some winter in Spain and Portugal.

The Osprey Protection Programme at the Loch of Lowes Wildlife Reserve receives money from the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Laura Chow, head of charities at the People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s reserve and webcam provide a perfect opportunity to view these incredible birds of prey up close and to learn more about their breeding behaviours and the challenges they face rearing a brood of young.”

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