Tayside and Central Scotland

Net snag osprey returned to Loch Tay

The osprey is released back into the wild
Image caption The osprey was returned to Loch Tay just before its annual migration

An osprey found tangled in fishing nets has been rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

The Scottish SPCA said it was the first time its Fife rescue centre had been able to nurse an osprey back to full health and then let it fly free.

The bird of prey was found in distress on Loch Tay with a badly injured right wing.

It was returned to the Perthshire loch just in time for its long migration south to Africa.

The bird was released back into the wild on Friday.

Wildlife Rescue Centre manager Colin Seddon said: "When the osprey first arrived it had sustained a wound to its right wing with a large amount of bruising.

"We treated the bird with painkillers and antibiotics and it was put on aviary rest with minimum disturbance to facilitate its recovery."

Mr Seddon the bird was fed "large quantities of trout" and medicated through its food.

Legal protection

He added: "This approach afforded the bird a speedy recovery and we were delighted to be able to release it back to the wild and just in time for its journey south.

"I believe this is the first time our Wildlife Rescue Centre has been successful in rehabilitating and releasing an osprey back into the wild so we were very pleased to have achieved such a good result."

Ospreys were heavily persecuted for their eggs and skins in the 19th and early 20th centuries and came close to extinction as a breeding bird.

However, conservation efforts have now established several breeding pairs in Scotland. They are offered the highest level of legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

In July, one of Scotland's most famous Ospreys - the 24-year-old Lady - was thought to be dying in her eyrie on the Loch of the Lowes.

But the bird defied expert opinion and recovered to see her 47th and 48th chicks fledge.

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