Tayside and Central Scotland

First osprey chick hatches at Loch of Lowes reserve

Osprey chick Image copyright Scottish Wildlife Trust

The first osprey chick of the season has hatched at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire.

Cracks appeared in an egg on the nest on Saturday afternoon and after a couple of hours female osprey LF15 stood up to reveal a tiny chick.

It is the earliest recorded hatching at the reserve near Dunkeld since 2005, when the first chick emerged on 12 May.

Staff at the trust expect another two eggs to hatch in the coming days.

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Media captionWebcam captures moment osprey chick hatches

Rab Potter, reserves manager at the Scottish Wildlife Trust said: "Our team of staff and volunteers has been watching the nest around the clock since the first egg was laid and we're delighted that the first chick has now made an appearance.

"All being well, the next two eggs will hatch over the next few days and we'd encourage people to keep an eye on our live osprey webcam for a chance to see the chicks emerge."

Osprey chicks grow quickly, fuelled by a high protein diet of pike, trout and other fish brought to the nest by their parents.

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Media captionWebcam shows newly hatched osprey feeding

They are initially covered in down, but start to grow new feathers within days, and are ready to fly after seven to eight weeks.

Once extinct in the UK, there are now around 240 breeding pairs of ospreys thanks to the efforts of nature conservation charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

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