NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Buzzard filmed snatching osprey chick from Aberdeenshire nest

Footage showing an osprey chick being snatched from its nest in Aberdeenshire by a buzzard has been captured.

The buzzard is seen swooping down after the mother left the nest at Lochter, then stealing one of the two chicks.

It was filmed by local businessman Euan Webster, who described it as "a shocking act" which showed action was needed to control buzzards.

However, RSPB Scotland said it had been a "perfectly natural, isolated predation incident".

Remains, which were believed to be the chick's body, were later recovered near the nest.

Douglas McAdam, chief executive of Scottish Land and Estates, said: "This video provides the sad but clear and conclusive evidence of the serious impact that this growing population of buzzards is now having.

"The time has surely come for common sense to prevail and for measures to be introduced to be able to properly protect these wild birds and other species that we value so highly."

RSPB Scotland spokesman James Reynolds said: "Ospreys are doing spectacularly well as a breeding bird in Scotland, and have increased their population considerably in recent years.

"Indeed, territorial nesting pairs are now beginning to establish themselves south of the border in England as a result of their steadily improving conservation status in Scotland.

"One perfectly natural, isolated predation incident by another bird of prey is not going to change that.

"This should not be used as a foundation to demonise buzzards, and it certainly should not be used as an attempt to justify controlling a protected species.

"By the same logic, will this organisation also be making similar calls for the control of ospreys because one has been filmed catching a fish?"

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