First osprey chick hatches at wildlife reserve as fans watch on livestream

First osprey chick hatches at wildlife reserve as fans watch on livestream
The chick hatched while being watched by viewers on a livestream of the nest (Woodland Trust Scotland/PA)
PA Media - Woodland Trust Scotland

The first osprey chick of the season has hatched at a wildlife reserve, days after its sibling was killed in an owl attack.

Wildlife fans watched a livestream of the chick hatching on its nest at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in Lochaber.

Laura Chow, head of charities at the People’s Postcode Lottery which operates the nest camera, said: “Congratulations to Louis and Dorcha for their first chick of the season.

“We are delighted that with players’ support, these extraordinary scenes of wild osprey life can be enjoyed by people far and wide.”

Ospreys are relatively rare in Scotland, having been almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century.

Despite growing in population in recent years, unhatched chicks face being eaten by predators.

One week before the healthy chick was born, livestream viewers were horrified to see a tawny owl snatch an egg from the nest.

George Anderson, of Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “Arkaig ospreys are regularly divebombed by owls concerned for the safety of their own chicks and keen to evict the bigger birds from the area.

“Usually no harm is done but last week we lost one of the three eggs over the side during a prolonged attack.

“Our new osprey chick does not know how lucky it is. Fingers crossed it will soon be joined by a sibling from the third egg, which could hatch any time now.”

The Loch Arkaig livestream grew in popularity during the 2020 lockdown, garnering an audience of 400,000, and remains popular today.

Livestreams can be accessed through the Woodland Trust website.

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