Highlands & Islands

Loch Garten's osprey Odin remains missing

Osprey Odin and in the background mate EJ Image copyright RSPB Scotland
Image caption A last image of Odin before he disappeared with EJ in the background

A male osprey whose disappearance led to the deaths of his three chicks remains missing.

Until he vanished on 18 May, Odin had been a long-time mate of EJ, and was bringing fish to their nest.

The pair were the most successful breeding pair at RSPB Loch Garten near Grantown on Spey.

The RSPB believe he was scared off by a stronger male or died after becoming entangled in fishing line, something that almost killed him in 2009.

Odin had been catching fish to feed his latest brood and also EJ, who was guarding against rival ospreys who would have killed the young and taken over the nest if given a chance.

However, the chicks died shortly after Odin's disappearance because of a lack of food.

Image copyright RSPB Scotland
Image caption EJ and Odin were raising three chicks before the male bird vanished

EJ has since been catching fish for herself while continuing to defend the nest she has used in her many breeding seasons at the wildlife reserve.

Some of the intruding males and females trying to seize the nest site have rings on their legs, allowing RSPB Scotland to indentify where they have flown in from.

They include Blue HS8, a three-year-old originally from the Isle of Bute, and an osprey known as Blue CT6 - understood to be a female from Aberdeenshire.

Jess Tomes, of RSPB Scotland, said: "There have been others, but we don't have details on them yet.

"These birds will be looking for a nest site - probably young birds wanting to establish a territory."

All the ospreys will migrate south to places including west Africa later in the year.

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