T in the Park Osprey Chicks Successfully Fledge!
MacArthur Green has had a busy summer supporting DF concerts and Bluewind Consulting with ornithology clerk of works for the Osprey nesting at the T in the Park site in Strathallan, Perthshire.
As well as monitoring the Osprey, MacArthur Green carried out the terrestrial ecology surveys and post event monitoring for the T in the Park site at Strathallan in Perthshire.
A Wee Bit About The Ospreys From Our Very Own Joyce Reid
The Scottish Osprey population is only about 180-200* pairs, so these birds are still twice as rare as Golden Eagles in the UK. This fragile population is protected by law so careful monitoring was in place at T in the Park to ensure the construction works and noise from the Festival did not cause the breeding attempt to fail.
Osprey's feet are specially adapted, with short spines covering the foot pads and long sharp talons to help grip wet fish. Ospreys can hunt 10 miles from the nest, catching a variety of fish species.
Incubation was shared by both adults, starting in late April and after about 40 days. On the 2nd or 3rd June, the first egg hatched. The male was observed taking prey to his mate on the nest where she fed small pieces to the chick. The 2nd egg hatched a couple of days later.
The number of feeds increased rapidly as the chicks grew, with between two and four fish being brought to the nest each day. The chicks could perch and look out the nest by July and were fully feathered against the rain.
During the T in the Park festival weekend the nesting behaviour and feeding continued as normal, with the birds watching the comings and goings of the festival goers.
By the middle of July the chicks were practicing flapping their wings to strengthen muscles needed for the long migration back to Africa.
In August they were flying around and eating fish unaided, they just need to learn to catch them now!
The UK's Ospreys winter mostly in Senegal, The Gambia or Mauritania and they fly south in late August. The adults will migrate several weeks before the young, who have to find their own way back to Africa.
Our thanks to Joyce Reid for the article and photos. Thanks also to Sarah Sanders for her photos.
(*The Birds of Scotland SOC 2007)
Adult Osprey devours its fish!
Fledged junior Osprey July 2016
Adult Osprey enjoys tree top view!