A PAIR of ospreys have hatched two chicks during their breeding season at the Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire.

The female osprey, known as NC0, and her male partner, LM12, who both arrived back at their nest within six hours of each other on March 17 to start their fourth breeding season together, have now reached another key milestone in the year.

The first chick hatched from its egg on Saturday, May 13, at 12.11 and was joined by its sibling in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Both hatchings were viewed on the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s osprey webcam where people from around the world can watch activity live from the nest.

Perthshire ranger Sara Rasmussen is delighted the osprey pair have got to the egg- hatching stage of raising a new brood to boost Scotland’s osprey population.

The National:

She said: “There are so many momentous occasions during the osprey breeding season, including their successful arrival back to Scotland from an arduous migration, pairing up, breeding, and laying eggs.

"Two chicks successfully hatching is another fantastic milestone to celebrate.”

But the last week has not been without its dramas. Male bird LM12 is thought to have sustained an injury - perhaps after defending the nest from intruders such as another osprey - as he did not bring a fish back to the nest for more than three days.

During the breeding season, male ospreys are responsible for bringing fish to the nest to sustain the female and the chicks, so this was a concern.

Fortunately, on Sunday evening he returned to the nest with a fish and has since been seen bringing several other fish to the nest.

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The female osprey was ringed as a chick near Loch Ness in 2016. She first bred in 2020 and has successfully raised five chicks with male, LM12. This will be the 12th breeding season for LM12 at Loch of the Lowes.

Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre is currently open seven days a week from 10.30am to 5pm.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s live osprey webcam ensures people from around the world can follow events as they happen.