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Thread subject: Terrible news - Loch of the Lowes
Name Date Message
Anne UK1 06/19/10 04:25 am Tuned in this morning to see Marge looking not at all well. I think we lost her. So so sad.
Pam 06/19/10 04:46 am Oh what a sad sight Anne. I haven't been watching recently. The chicks are looking lively but Marge just lies motionless apart from the wind blowing her feathers. No blog today yet.
Pam 06/19/10 04:49 am She's not dead...she just lifted her head but her wing is stretched out in a strange way.
Anne UK1 06/19/10 04:50 am I wish they'd send someone up to check her out.

There is a blog now - not sure I go along with their theory.

June 19th, 2010 by Osprey Team
Good morning folks,
Not a happy picture this morning. You have probably all noticed Lady lying flat in the nest and not really able to get up. We donât know whatâs wrong but it is a possibility that she is severely dehydrated and just needs some fish to get her going again. Iâm hoping this is the case and dad will step up to the mark and feed her some.
We will all just need to keep everything crossed that she will be fine and dad proves his worth by helping feed the chicks in the meantime.
We will do our best to keep you updated throughout the day. Stay positive everyone!
Celeste 06/19/10 05:22 am Oh how sad. Can't stand to even watch! I haven't had too much of a chance to check on things. Could it really be dehydration? Has she not been able to eat well because of a poor supply of fish?
Celeste 06/19/10 05:26 am I just quickly looked at the past blogs...looks like they have been good feedings, some intruders, dehydration doesn't seem to make sense to me right now. Is it possible she ate something tainted when she had her time to leave the nest to feed herself since the chicks have been around? If things are worse, what policy does LOL follow...will they "intervene"?
Tiger 06/19/10 06:08 am Update:
Itâs not looking good folks. Weâve had a few experts take a look so there is a possibility our Lady wonât make it. We are keeping the webcam on, as traumatic it is to watch, it is nature and maybe it is fitting that her last days are here at the loch she made her home. If the worst happens, we have permission to remove the body for autopsy. Unfortunately we canât intervene with the chicks. We have taken the stance to let nature take its course. I am hopeful that the Laird will continue to bring fish and feed the chicks when they beg. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, I think they will be sorely needed today! Our thoughts go out to you all too, who have been watching since the beginning and supporting us and the ospreys all the way.
Tiger 06/19/10 06:10 am It will be interesting to see if this male succeeds as a single dad like Ollie did at Loch Garten in 1993.
Celeste 06/19/10 06:34 am I hope he can succeed also, and I do hope that Marge if she doesn't make it, is not suffering.

I always remember the brave male where Melanie is banding today. His mate was killed by another female intruder, and this male was left with 1 or 2 chicks, (Melanie has a much better memory). Anyways, he continued to bring fish to the chick, and Greg, (who takes us on the banding trips), built a bit of a roof for the chick to have refuge from the sun. It was funny to see an osprey nest with a "Island Hut" at the edge of the nest.

Anne UK1 06/19/10 06:39 am She was fine yesterday. According to the blog comments 11 fish were brought in so dehydration can't be the cause.

My fear is she's ingested some fishing line or something else she shouldn't have. The chicks are fine so it's got to be something specific to her.

I'm hoping it's just old age - something along the lines of a stroke? I could accept a natural cause more easily than man causing problems again.

I'm surprised they won't intervene with the chicks. They're five weeks now I think - just short of the age that translocated chicks have been taken in the past.

On the positive side, the male did feed the chicks when they were tiny. We'll just have to hope he does again if he's left as a single parent.

Definitely the down side of web cams. We'd never know about these things without them. As they say, ignorance is bliss.
Anne UK1 06/19/10 06:42 am Yes, Celeste. My concern too is that Marge is suffering. She's been like this for at least six hours now, as someone posted a comment on the blog page just before 5am our time.

I remember reading about that other nest you mention. Will the LoL staff build these chicks a sun hut or will they leave nature to take its course, I wonder.
Celeste 06/19/10 06:50 am I know we are supposed to let Nature take it's course, but many times wildlife suffers because of man, and the idea of a fishing line causing this really makes me ill. I tend to agree with you Anne, that something tainted, or specific to Marge has hurt her, though it would be much easier to hope that it's just natural causes, but she was fine one day and not the next....very upsetting and yes, a big downside of cams, but perhaps, in a way, a teaching tool for someone who doesn't realize that what affects our wildlife eventually affects us all.
Anne UK1 06/19/10 06:59 am The male just flew in to warn off an intruder - I saw a shadow pass over the nest just after he landed.

It doesn't sound as if the chicks have eaten yet today. The male brought a fish in earlier but took it away again.

Marge just lifted her head so she's not given up the fight yet. If she has ingested something tainted is there a chance it could pass through her system and she'll recover? A faint hope I know, but maybe.
Melanie 06/19/10 06:59 am Too sad. Don't forget the possibility of lead poisoning from fishing sinkers. It's an unpleasant slow death due to neurological disruption.

I suspect, though, that shading the chick won't be as much of an issue there as it is here. Our days right now are hitting around 90° F (in the 30's C) so that shade is probably much more important for our birds than it would be for Scotland.

That would have been the Tiki Bar nest - he was left with one chick to care for . Don't know that it was ever determined what happened to Momma - that was a very good year, though, for the neighborhood Great Horned Owl as I recall.
Shelley 06/19/10 07:28 am This is quite distressing. I agree that it seems specific to just her. And that, it is probably more than likely, if not a stroke or something health-related (and if she was fine hours ago, that doesn't seem likely either), then it is most likely a man-caused problem. What else is new. And I also agree that if that is the case, they should intervene, even if minimally, to build a roof or whatever, to assist the male yet give him a chance to take over.

I have not been watching this cam regularly and looking now, I can't quite make out the chicks. I think I can see one. How many are there? Is she on top of them? If she doesn't move, could they smother?
Anne UK1 06/19/10 08:00 am There are two chicks Shelley, and they've been doing really well. I'm puzzled they're so very quiet this morning and was worrying maybe they're not well either, but they do look bright enough so maybe it's just instinct kicking in and telling them to lie low and wait.

Things had been going so well and so predictably that I'd stopped downloading clips recently. The last video I have is from last Sunday when I thought we were well past the time for any dramas. Just goes to show you really do have to savour every moment because you never know what the next day might bring :( Video
Anne UK1 06/19/10 08:14 am Green 7Y brought in a fish and he's feeding the chicks! :) Pic
DaisyG 06/19/10 08:20 am I was worried about the chicks too. They seemed unnaturally quiet.

Yes watching the feeding just now Anne. Isn't it great? :))
Shelley 06/19/10 08:22 am With the wind, it's hard to tell for sure but it looks as if she is still breathing, even if she is not moving.

So sad, but yes, it is great to see the feeding of the chicks!
Shelley 06/19/10 08:24 am She's just raised her head and looked around!
DaisyG 06/19/10 08:32 am Poor Marge has tried valiantly to get up so many times this morning but looks so ill when they zoom in on her face.
cathleen 06/19/10 08:36 am It is almost as if she is partially paralyzed somehow... the chicks do not seem any worse for wear... :(
Kelly 06/19/10 09:13 am Videos of the recent feeding ... sorry, didn't think to begin recording straight away :)

Part 1

Part 2
Anne UK1 06/19/10 09:20 am Thanks Kelly. I've got it from the start I think - I'll upload it in a bit if I have. Also noticed at the end the two chicks seemed to be fighting over a piece of fish, tugging it between them. And after he'd gone one was having a go at some remnant on his own.

Hopefully they'll develop faster than normal on the self-feeding front if they're having to be more independent - on Springwatch this week the kestrels nost the female and the chicks have suddenly found they can tug and tear food all by themselves giving them a great chance of making it.

Ref Marge - I've wondered all morning if there's a problem with her legs rather than something internal. Just read this comment on the blogs page - has anyone got any thoughts?

Thinking about how suddenly she seems to have gone down after seeming quite herself yesterday â I did notice just before dark last night she was away from the nest a while â probably having a bath I thought. Then when she came back she was doing a lot of wing flapping and scratching with her beak at something under her wingâ¦..might she have picked up a tick or something that got under her skin?? â she was flapping her wings very agitatedly as if trying to get rid of something stuck there.
Kelly 06/19/10 09:34 am I did see that Springwatch episode, Anne ... very sad that the female was lost presumably by being struck by a vehicle :( But the male did pick up his game big time!, and it was good to see the chicks feeding themselves.

I dare not speculate what has happened to Marge ... it certainly is very sad for the Old Girl and so heartbreaking to watch :(
Anne UK1 06/19/10 10:04 am I've uploaded the beginning of the feed. The male arrives at around the 2 minute mark - prior to that is not good watching :( Video

That's me done for a while now. If she's not going to recover I hope for a swift end for Marge. I know it's nature, but it's tough viewing.
Shelley 06/19/10 10:22 am She seems to be making valiant efforts to get up! I was away for a bit but it looks like she has succeeded in moving herself around somewhat and I just heard calling, though I am not sure if it is her calling. Her wings appear to be open and giving her trouble. Maybe it isn't her legs, maybe it's the wings that are injured
Pam 06/19/10 11:24 am I have been out but just switched on and see the male feeding the chicks whilst Marge lies inert towards the front of the nest. Unbearable to watch.
DaisyG 06/19/10 11:50 am At least this way we know what is happening, even though we can only speculate as to cause. It would have been awful had she crash landed somewhere on her flyabout this morning and we were left waiting and wondering.
Up there on the nest she is out of the way of predators and has the company of her own kind.
martyc35 06/19/10 11:52 am Oh, dear. I'm so late in tuning in out here, and now I don't dare look. I was watching yesterday, and she looked fine, feeding them and then calling for more, looking quite normal. How quickly everything can change. I'll tune in here to see how it goes. Sorry, everyone.
Pamela 06/19/10 12:41 pm I'm so sorry about this unbearable situation. The news is just tragic. I can hardly bear to read every one's comments, let alone turning to the cam.
Anne UK1 06/19/10 05:05 pm I've just edited this - hopefully no-one got to read it but if you did, panic over. I was worried about one of the chicks, but wouldn't you know it he waited until the very minute I posted on here and then got up to show me he was fine after all.

Dad's doing a great job - he's brought in at least four fish from what I can tell reading the blog.

I wish someone could help the female though. I do wonder, if it's okay to take her from the nest later why not now. I understand the not intervening thing, but watching her struggle is unbearable. I'd say the least we owe her is to help her on her way. Personally I think they should have looked at her this morning, but there you go - they are the experts.
Shelley 06/19/10 05:29 pm I just peeked in now and she is still trying to raise her head. I agree with you, Anne. If they have already decided that they will remove her body, it seems to me, too, that it is far more humane to remove her now and put her out of her misery than make her suffer for longer. Who knows how long this could go on.

:-( Poor sweet thing. Thankfully, the dad is a good provider and hopefully, the chicks will thrive and survive.
Pamela 06/19/10 05:33 pm Oh, Anne, I had read your post and worried about the litle one. Many thanks for the edit.
I agree with you whole heartedly wondering why the experts don't step in, especially after we watched the episode with the Finnish osprey's leg last year.
Anne UK1 06/19/10 05:45 pm Dad's back again with another fish. Isn't it amazing how they instinctively know they need to double their efforts - the kestrel male did exactly the same when his female was lost.

Both chicks having another good feed is the good news. The osprey team will be on site and keeping a close eye all night. I don't agree with the decision that has been made but I imagine they're bound by rules and regulations and have to go by the book. A very tough time for them as well as poor Marge :(
Celeste 06/19/10 07:22 pm I've been away all day, but I was wondering and hoping that I would find better news. I do agree and wish at this point they would keep Marge from suffering, especially if they intend to remove her if and when. A definite reminder to never take anything for granted isn't it.
Anne UK1 06/20/10 03:57 am She's still hanging on this morning, poor thing. .

Those chicks are so quiet. Dad's brought in two fish this morning already so he's doing his best and thankfully it looks as if the weather will be fine for at least the next week. How long before these little ones' feathers will be waterproof enough for them to cope with rain - not too long now I think?
Celeste 06/20/10 04:18 am It's so sad to watch this..just hope she is not suffering. The chicks are stirring and quietly starting to chirp. They should be ok now if it does rain as they do have their feathers.
Pam 06/20/10 04:29 am One of the chicks just slung its wing over her and she stirred slightly. I would think a bird dying on the nest like this is quite unusual ?
Celeste 06/20/10 05:30 am That sweet male just brought in a fish...and is starting to feed his chicks. Marge seems to be breathing faintly. I can't help thinking that we are once again witnessing, (as we did with the dead chick feeding in the DPOF nest), things that not even the "experts" have ever witnessed. The "will" of Nature to survive and in particular what we have witnessed through the years in the Osprey world is quite moving.
Anne UK1 06/20/10 06:22 am I've taken the following from the Loch Garten discussion board. It's helped my understanding of the situation so I thought I'd share it here. My heart really goes out to the people at Loch of the Lowes. All they can do is watch and wait. If it's tough for us, how much worse it must be for them.

(The reference to OVS in this post relates to his two chicks being added to the group being translocated to Rutland in 2005. Apparently a special variation was made to the licence at Roy Dennis's request as the female had disappeared and these two chicks were starving.)

Post reads:-

I've been trying to understand the law as regards intervention's complicated. Apologies in advance for any misinterpretation.

The starting point is that throughout the UK, ospreys are classed as Schedule 1 protected birds and it's an offence for anyone to disturb their nests. I think we know why this is necessary.

It's possible to apply for an exemption licence to carry out certain procedures around the nest, but these are very restricted - these are the details for Scotland:

This means you are not going to get a licence for reasons like alleviating suffering or trying to save their lives. SWT, in this case, can't disregard the need for a licence - among other reasons, there are plenty of people in the anti-bird of prey lobby who would jump on any transgression and insist that they be prosecuted, which would not help their work overall.

So the game seems to be, looking for loopholes which will enable you to get a licence to do what you need to do. They've obtained a licence to remove Lady's body from the nest when she passes, on the grounds that it's for scientific analysis, when it's pretty clear that the main reason is that it will be healthier for the chicks. In the case of OVS' chicks, I'm guessing they got authority to remove them by saying they were destined for RW - i.e. the licence was given on conservation grounds.

So, all very tricky, and I guess this may be what Peter at LOTL means by "frustrations". I feel really sorry for them, caught between supporter expectations, the law and its representatives, and at the same time, having to watch the last hours of a bird they've known for 20 years.
cathy 06/20/10 06:59 am I feel sad for all those witnessing this difficult passing of a noble bird who traveled so far and for the efforts of those who have brought these birds back to Scotland.
Celeste 06/20/10 07:26 am Cathy, you have said what I felt but couldn't find the words to do so.
Shelley 06/20/10 07:30 am I am just tuning in now (7:30 Eastern time here in Canada) and a feeding is going on. So happy to see this. Poor thing is still there and doesn't appear to be moving though with the wind and nest movement, it is difficult to tell if she is breathing.

The feeding of the chicks seems to be over and dad is finishing off as they watch him.

I am relieved to hear the weather forecast for the next while appears to be decent, Anne. And thanks for posting about those laws. Hard as this is, I guess if the cost is giving the *enemies* more ammunition when it comes to ultimate protection of these creatures, it is the price we have to pay.

Celeste, you are so right about witnessing nature and how blessed we are to be able to see what we see, no matter whether the good or the bad. What a priviledge! I am so glad that we are able to share this, too
Pam 06/20/10 09:12 am Dad is busy feeding youngsters again. Female seems to be facing in opposite direction from earlier. Has she turned or is it just the cam that has been moved to another angle - does anybody know?
FOB Webmaster 06/20/10 09:24 am Does anyone else have trouble viewing this cam? I can't get it in IE6, I downloaded the Firefox plug in but that doesn't work, and opening the URL directly in Windows Media Player also doesn't work.

I see "connecting to media...ready" but then I never see an image
Anne UK1 06/20/10 09:28 am Same camera angle Pam. I didn't see it, but there are reports on the LoL comments page that around 12 o'clock she moved to the middle of the nest, trying to shield the chicks with her wings.

Heartbreaking. Blog page
Anne UK1 06/20/10 09:30 am Others are having problems too Lisa. I copied this over from the LG discussion board - it might help you. I'd certainly be glad to hear your thoughts on things too.

Copied post:-

I think at times such as this, there will inevitably be a lot of 'cross-thread' posts, and I don't think anyone will complain Cirrus - in terms of the webcam, you can access it by opening Windows Media Player (if you're on a PC) and then:

File > Open URL >

Alternatively, is the direct link, but you need to click the arrow at the bottom left of the screen to 'start' the webstream.
Anne UK1 06/20/10 09:33 am Sorry Lisa, I only read the first half of your message. I see now the info I copied over probably won't be any help :(

FOB Webmaster 06/20/10 09:37 am No problem -- thanks for trying. When I put the URL in WMP, I get "specified module could not be found." So weird -- I've never had such trouble opening a WMP-based cam. Maybe I should see if the software needs to be updated.
Shelley 06/20/10 10:16 am 10:15 am here and she has turned completely since I last looked. Now facing the right side of the nest and her head is up and she is looking around. She just shook her head, almost looks like she's rallying.
Celeste 06/20/10 10:17 am Lisa, I never trust myself when it comes to computers, and whether something works or not. I have a Mac, but use the Flip4Mac which runs Quick Time and I can see it on the LOL site but in a very small square . However, I cannot copy the URL into Quick Player either, (so that I can make the screen bigger and place it on my desktop) it keeps reading URL Error.
FOB Webmaster 06/20/10 11:23 am Ok, thanks. Might be something on their end.

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