Bird lovers monitor 25-year-old osprey as her condition worsens

Wildlife News

The following story can also be followed here on our Hancock Wildlife Forum

Our hearts go out to our members who have been following this particular camera. 


Published Date: 21 June 2010

HUNDREDS of bird lovers from across the world are on 24-hourwatch monitoring the condition of one of Scotland's favourite birds.

Scotland's most famous osprey – known as Lady – has been lying sick in her nest unable to move since Saturday morning and experts believe she has just hours to live.

At 25 years old, the bird has amazed people around the world by successfully producing 46 chicks, including two this year.

However, now her fans are glued to an online webcam, watching as the elderly bird prepares to breathe her last.

As her two chicks stand beside her demanding food, she has been lying in her huge nest on the banks of Loch of the Lowes, near Dunkeld, Perthshire, for two days, occasionally lifting her head but unable to open her eyes.

More than 700 people have posted messages on an online blog from as far away as New Zealand, Hong Kong and America.

However, now her fans are glued to an online webcam, watching as the elderly bird prepares to breathe her last.




One, who calls herself Walkingruth wrote: "I cannot believe what I am seeing, like so many others, through tear-filled eyes.

"May our Lady be released soon to fly with grace and speed through the celestial skies."

Another, called Mary G, from America, wrote: "Have been following this nest for several years and am heartbroken. My only wish is that Lady will pass quickly and the chicks will continue to be fed."

Peter Ferns, manager at the Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve, stayed up all night on Saturday to monitor her health.

He has been watching over the bird for 17 years and said he will be devastated when she dies.

"She is still managing to lift her head up but she's not managing to open her eyes and her legs are very weak," he said.

"Normally she would be standing on the side of the nest giving her partner gyp to go and get some food.

"She can still hear when her chicks call. She tries to stand up but she can't.

"It is very upsetting but we have to remain professional about it."

Lady recently astounded wildlife experts by returning to her summer home at the wildlife reserve and producing an egg for a record-breaking 20th consecutive year.

She is more than three times the normal lifespan for an osprey, and well beyond the 14 years after which they are usually unable to produce chicks.

She returned to Scotland on 23 March after completing a 3,000-mile migration from West Africa.

After years of mating with a male seven years her junior, she has taken up with a bird known as 7Y who is only ten years old.

Mr Ferns hopes the male will look after the two chicks after Lady dies.

So far, he said, he has been doing a "sterling" job, bringing back plenty of fish for the hungry youngsters.

SWT has a policy not to intervene to help the bird. When she dies staff will remove her body, trying not to disrupt the chicks or their father.

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Tag: scottish wildlife trust, osprey

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