Monday, 22 April 2013

Ospreys Return to Aberfoyle as the drama unfolds

Aberfoyle’s ospreys have returned to begin a new season, and there have already been clashes over ownership of the birds’ huge nest.

Ospreys at the nestThis year’s drama started in early April when the first female returned and quickly found a partner. Together they set about improving the nest, bringing in branches and soft nesting material, while the male regularly brought in fish.

But soon the birds’ behaviour changed from being a relaxed couple preparing to start a family, to a pair defending their home from an intruder.

Aberfoyle ospreys at the nest
When the pair on the nest began spreading their wings it became clear they were trying to put off another bird from flying too close. Sure enough a third osprey was spotted a short time later.

Overnight the new osprey displaced the original female and it looks like she has now paired up with the male! We’re hoping to identify these birds soon and then we’ll know how old they are and where they were hatched.

While a momentary calm has now decended, the drama may well not be over. The female should start laying any day now. There's still time for other ospreys to invade and claim the nest and her mate!

The ospreys can be viewed live inside the Mini-Lodge at The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre (David Marshall Lodge), which is open 7 days a week from 10am til 5pm.