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Thread subject: Loch of the Lowes Ospreys
Name Date Message
Anne 06/11/05 04:53 pm I went to see the ospreys here on Friday. The nest site is in a beautiful setting on the side of a loch about 10 miles north of Perth. The nest is on top of a large pine tree near the waters edge, and the elevated viewing hide is about 400 yards away across the water.

When I arrived, the female was sitting on the edge of the nest calling loudly. I couldent see the chicks at all - the nest rim is so high. Then I noticed the male sitting in a dead tree about 30 feet to the side of the nest tree.

Before I had even set up my scope, the female flew up and dive-bombed the male, and she did this 5 times. The last time, she hit his head with her talons and he flew off. I was shocked, but the guy sitting next to me said 'Dont worry - she does this to make him go fishing!'

Sure enough, half an hour later he returned with a large trout which he delivered to the nest. The female fed herself a little, then fed the chicks for 20 minutes, then finnished it off. The male got nothing. I still couldent see the chicks athough a long, dirty beige-coloured wing kept appearing above the rim. However, I could see the chicks plainly on a live TV link-up at the back of the hide, and they were much bigger than the DP chicks - they were hatched a week earlier.

The interesting thing was that the male did not catch the fish in the loch. I learned later that he never did - he always flew 4 miles to the River Tay where he caught trout and the occasional salmon. Either he preferred trout to perch (who can blame him) or he found it easier to fish in the shallower and clearer waters of the river.

I asked about the chicks and apparently the third chick had died soon after hatching and the fourth had died after some atrocious cold and wet weather. The female osprey at this site is quite old but she is apparently a superb mother. According to The Scotsman newspaper, she has produced 41 chicks at this nest site to 3 'husbands'.

It was so wonderful to see the ospreys at their nest from such a short distance - I have only ever seen ospreys fishing and migrating before. I really envy you people who live near to nesting sites and who are able to see them 'in the flesh' every year.
Tiger 06/11/05 05:24 pm Oh Anne what a wonderful report. I love the idea of the female giving the male a slap to persuade him to go fishing. Maybe it is a bit more effective than nagging as Betty does.

Do the ospreys have names?

No wonder that that female has had three husbands!


Celeste 06/11/05 05:34 pm Thank you Anne......I too enjoyed the technique the female had to get the male "fishing"......hmm:))

I can imagine how beautiful the scenery was around the nest you saw.
Lori 06/11/05 08:40 pm maybe osprey & humans are not as different as we might think!!! :-) Sounds like you had a wonderfull holiday Anne
Marie 06/12/05 01:32 am Lori.......did I hear you correctly...sounds like you hinted at slapping your man around to get him going.LOL...I must be mistaken..........
I will certainly watch my ospreys here to see if that behaviour develops. Never heard of a female osprey bullying a male osprey to get him to go fishing for his family. Thank you for sharing Anne. I bet you had a wnderful time in Scotland. Such a beautiful country.
Anne 06/12/05 08:57 am Actually I was helping my sister move house in Edinburgh. I managed to sneak a day off to go and see the ospreys! There are two osprey nest sites at Peebles which is even closer to her, but I think you can only see them on video link-up.
Anne 06/12/05 09:00 am PS. I dont know if they have names.
Tiger 06/12/05 09:04 am Anne you can see the Peebles birds at:

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-68km8a

Apparently the second nest there has four chicks.

Cecilia 06/12/05 09:29 am Thanks Anne...what an interesting bit of osprey family dynamics. I was sure that you were going to go on and say that the male in the tree was an intruder. Can't imagine "our" girl pulling such a trick. I hope I can get to Scotland someday...I'd love to see that beautiful country and the Ospreys too!
rick s. 06/12/05 11:50 am Thank you Anne. Now I know why my wife cuffs me on the side of the head as she walks by!!!!!!!!!!!!! :))
Tiger 06/12/05 01:24 pm The wife antics are featured on the website!

http://www.swt.org.uk/webcam/webcam.asp

Anne 06/12/05 05:50 pm Maybe this is why this female has raised 41 chicks so far - she's a battleaxe wife!
Tiger 06/12/05 06:40 pm Or maybe raising 41 chicks makes her like that! :)

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006