Watch as Scottish osprey chick takes to the air for maiden flight

The first of two osprey chicks born this year at a nature reserve near Dunkeld has taken to the skies for the first time.

The youngster, a female named Blue with the ring number LR1, is the elder of a pair which hatched in a nest at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes reserve, near Dunkeld in Perthshire.

The fledgling and her brother, tagged LR2, are the offspring of the reserve’s current ‘celebrity’ ospreys – well-known male Laddie, or LM12, and the female NC0, a relative newcomer.

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They raised their first brood together in 2020, although Laddie had previously fathered 15 chicks over the past decade.

Blue, the elder of two chicks born this year at Loch of the Lowes nature reserve in Perthshire, was captured on film as she took to the skies for the first time
Blue, the elder of two chicks born this year at Loch of the Lowes nature reserve in Perthshire, was captured on film as she took to the skies for the first time

If the latest two chicks fly the nest as expected, the parent birds will have successfully reared three chicks together.

These bring the total number of osprey chicks to fledge at Loch of the Lowes to 85 since the species returned to the site in 1969.

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Blue took her maiden flight around the reserve on Friday and returned safely to the nest a short time afterwards afterwards.

The milestone moment was captured on video via the reserve’s nestcam.

Sara Rasmussen, Perthshire ranger for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s incredible to think that just a few weeks ago these young ospreys were tiny, helpless chicks.

“In about a month they will be capable of flying south by themselves all the way to West Africa.

“Seeing the young ospreys take flight is a huge moment and demonstrates the importance of our long-running Osprey Protection Programme, which ensures the birds are kept safe from human disturbance.

“This work is made possible thanks to more than 50 local volunteers and support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

“The next few weeks are a fantastic time to visit Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre to see displays of flying ospreys from our wildlife hide, as well as a huge range of other birdlife.”

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Watching osprey chicks develop into young birds that can fly thousands of miles is an amazing experience, and we’re pleased that our players have been able to support another successful season at Loch of the Lowes.”

Ospreys were extinct in the UK for much of the 20th century but began to recover in the 1960s

The birds migrate thousands of miles to spend winter in West Africa, flying up to 270 miles a day, then make the return journey to Scotland each spring to breed.

Estimates suggest there are now around 300 pairs nesting here each summer.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s live osprey webcam allows nature-lovers from all over the world to follow events at the nest as they happen.

Anyone planning to travel to Loch of the Lowes in person is advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is Scotland’s leading nature conservation charity, with more than 40,000 members and a network of around 120 wildlife reserves across Scotland.

It is a member of the UK-wide Wildlife Trusts movement and receives support from a range of organisations, funders and individuals – including national agency NatureScot and the people’s Postcode Lottery.

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