The Osprey, a magnificent specialist feeder raptor, once a common sight in the United Kingdom, loved by many & heavily protected in law. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects the birds, their nests & their young from intentional or reckless disturbance.
During the nineteenth & twentieth centuries Osprey's were persecuted mostly for the trade in eggs & were extinct in Britain by 1906.
In the mid fifties a pair of Ospreys from Scandinavia naturally nested successfully in Scotland at Loch Garten but successful population growth was slow due to egg collectors & pollutants.
In the 70's Operation Osprey was launched to give the birds a helping hand. Electric fences with barbed wire were set up around the trees the Osprey's were known to favour as nesting sites to keep the egg collectors out & security was set up to watch the nests around the clock.
This was massively successful & by 1991 there were 71 breeding birds in the area.
In 2004 two nests were established in Wales which now has a population of 4 breeding pairs
Having taken steps to protect our Osprey's from the perils of egg collectors these birds are exposed to new threats such as wind turbines & disturbance by man.
Wind turbines are a problem for all raptors & other birds who fail to see them in flight & fly into them resulting in life threatening or fatal injuries. The risk has been reduced by painting the tips of the turbines blades red but injuries & deaths are still reported.
Nesting birds are sensitive to disturbances & the Osprey is no exception to that rule. They will leave the nest if disturbed by the presence of people or dogs with dire consequences. exposing eggs to temperatures will result in failed hatchings & in some cases birds may not lay at all.
Dog Desk Animal Action CIC is running an educational campaign at the moment to Give Wildlife Space which highlights some of the problems our actions create for wildlife. Please find it here
Credit Alexander Droeger
Our Ospreys have fallen victim to a new threat in the form of thuggery.
Two days ago an active nest containing one egg (The female lays eggs over several days) was destroyed at Llyn Brenig in Wales. An unidentified individual took a chainsaw to the nesting platform & felled it.
North Wales Rural Police Crime Team suspect that the person or persons concerned arrived at the nest site by boat.
*TRIGGER WARNING* Footage Of The Nesting Platform Being Felled
It is hoped that the birds will continue to nest on another nesting platform in the area.
North Wales Wildlife Trust posted this tweet after the nesting platform was felled showing the Ospreys staring out at the location their nest should be in.
North Wales Police Rural Crime Team are making enquiries & believe that the perpetrator of the crime would have had a strong motive to rid the lake of Osprey's. If you have any information that might be helpful to the Police please contact them by phoning 101 & quoting crime reference 2059734.