Missing osprey chick

JC- the missing osprey chick
JC- the missing osprey chick

One of the two Wigtown Bay osprey chicks from this year’s nest has unexpectedly disappeared.

JC, the presumed female chick, which took her first flight only last week, was last seen on July 22. It’s normal for osprey chicks to stay close to the nest for at least a month after first fledging, but although the second chick, JD, can still be seen on a daily basis begging for food from his parents, his sibling has vanished.

Ian Brown, RSPB Scotland wildlife and community officer, said: “We’re all getting a bit concerned about JC, as it’s quite unusual for such a young osprey to disappear from the nest like this. I was the lucky person who got to hold JC when she had her identity rings fitted. It really was a magical moment for me, and has led to fond feelings for this osprey chick in particular. Hopefully she is just enjoying her independence somewhere, but if anyone happens to spot JC, we’d be really eager to hear from them.”

The public are asked to watch out for ospreys in Wigtownshire and report any sightings to the RSPB Wigtown office on 01988 402130, especially if you are lucky enough to see an osprey perched and can read its identification ring.

JC has a blue plastic ring on her left leg with white writing saying ‘JC’ (hence her name). Ospreys are usually fitted with two rings: a numbered metal ring from the British Trust for Ornithology, which can only be read from very close up, and a uniquely marked plastic colour ring to allow birds to be identified from a distance.

The remaining osprey chick and adults will still use their nest as a base throughout most of August, so if you haven’t been to the Wigtown Bay Visitor Centre to see them, you still have a chance.

Ospreys migrate to West Africa during the colder winter months, with the females departing first towards the end of August, and the males remaining at the nest site with their chicks for a few more days until they too are ready to leave.

Live and recorded images of the Wigtown Bay ospreys and their chicks can be seen in the visitor room, which is jointly managed by RSPB and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Countryside Service, and situated within Wigtown County Buildings. If you would like more information, please contact the visitor facilities in the County Buildings on 01988 402673.

Volunteers are still being sought to help out in the room for the rest of the season. If you would like to know more, contact Ian on 07919227854.