Loch Garten osprey nest produces 100th chick

THE famous Loch Garten osprey nest has produced its 100th successful birth.

A male Osprey feeding chicks in the hide at Loch Garten. Picture: RSPB
A male Osprey feeding chicks in the hide at Loch Garten. Picture: RSPB

The latest breeding pair, Odin and EJ, delivered three young chicks on the 60th anniversary of the bird returning to Scotland after becoming extinct.

Osprey Centre manager Richard Thaxton said, “2014 marks the sixtieth anniversary that ospreys returned to Loch Garten.

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“They have been breeding at Loch Garten ever since and thousands of people have had their first experience of seeing these magnificent birds here at Loch Garten.

“We are also delighted that our current pair of ospreys, Odin and EJ, will almost certainly have produced the 100th osprey to fledge at Loch Garten. It will mark a real milestone when these youngsters take to the air.”

Mr Thaxton added that naming the birds had been quite a challenge.

He said: “We toyed and conjured with 100-type relevant names including Century, Centurion, Furmium – the 100th element in the Periodic Table – and also derivations from Cent (as in 100).

“Had the largest chick been deemed male then we might have run with Vincent. But as it was a girl we’ve opted for Millicent, henceforth Millie for short, no doubt.

“To mark 2014 being the 60th anniversary of the osprey’s return to Scotland in 1954, the name of the second chick is the Gaelic word for 60, Seasca .

“The third, smallest chick, ringed but not satellite tagged has been names Druie as in the River Druie which flows through the Rothiemurchus fish farm from whence no doubt most of their nourishment has been purloined.”

Mr Thaxton and osprey expert Roy Dennis recently checked how the three young ospreys have been getting on and fitted satellite transmitters on to two of the birds.

He said: “The tagging went well. All three of the youngsters were found to be in good condition. Checks were made for “checks” in the feather growth, lines that indicate days of less food being provided and there was very little sign of this. Odin, the male parent has obviously done a good job, in providing plenty of fish, so far!

“Our three young ospreys are believed to be all girls. To be honest, the smaller of the three weighed-in at either a big boy weight or a small girl weight, but all things considered, Roy hedged his bets and pronounced it a girl, probably.”