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Osprey NC0 on nest with egg

First egg of the season laid by female osprey NC0 at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve


Female osprey NC0 (named after the identifying ring on her left leg) has laid her first egg of the season at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire.

Staff and volunteers at the reserve, as well as webcam viewers from around the world, watched the osprey reveal her mottled egg at 9:32 on Tuesday 4 April.

NC0 is expected to lay more eggs in the coming days, and she could be sitting on a full clutch of three eggs by Easter Monday.

The Trust's Perthshire Ranger Sara Rasmussen is delighted at their determination to raise a brood. She said: “They both arrived within six hours of each other this year, on 17 March, which was a thrilling start to the breeding season. They have been nest building and mating straight away which everyone can watch from the nest webcam. We are now thrilled to find NC0 has laid her first egg of the season and we're hoping to see her lay again in the next few days.”

Once eggs are laid, they need to be kept covered by the birds for as long as possible. If left uncovered due to disturbance, they can cool quickly, reducing the chances of successful hatching. NC0 incubates the eggs for around 80% of the time but her mate LM12 will take over for brief periods to give her a chance to feed on fish such as brown trout, perch, and pike that he brings to the nest.

Female NC0 arrived back at the nest site at 07:43am on Friday 17 March 2023 while male LM12 arrived at 13:43, exactly 6 hours later performing a sky dance just before landing.

This is the earliest NC0 has ever arrived back with both birds looking in very good health after their migration.

NC0 was ringed as a chick near Loch Ness in 2016. She first bred in 2020 and has successfully raised five chicks. This will be the 12th breeding season for male osprey LM12 at Loch of the Lowes.

Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre is currently open seven days a week from 10:30am to 5pm. The Scottish Wildlife Trust's live osprey webcam ensures people from around the world can follow events as they happen.

Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th Century. They began to recover in the 1960s and an estimated 300 pairs of ospreys now breed in the UK each summer. Most of these birds migrate to West Africa but some winter in Spain and Portugal.

The Osprey Protection Programme at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve is supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, with funds awarded by Postcode Planet Trust.

Find out more about Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve here, on Facebook or Twitter and sign up to our osprey blog to hear the very latest news from the nest.

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