Perthshire: Loch of the Lowes webcam catches crow about to take an osprey egg

Crow on osprey nest
The moment the crow attacked the nest was caught on the Loch of the Lowes ospreycam
Yesterday morning (7 th. May) the male osprey at the Loch of the Lowes nesting site was distracted by a crow whilst incubating the three eggs and gave chase to an aerial predator. The female was away from the nest and so was unaware that the eggs where left undefended for a few minutes. During this time an opportunistic carrion crow landed on the nest and snatched one of the osprey eggs, after piercing its shell and eating some contents. The female osprey then appeared and  settled back on the two remaining eggs , and when the crow returned for more, she was thankfully in position to defend them. Reviewing the nest camera footage we don’t believe the other eggs have been damaged – whilst another egg was picked up and dropped by the crow we believe only the one that was taken was pierced by its beak.

Footage of the attack was captured on the centre’s ospreycam, and shows Lady scaring off the intruder, which had the egg in its beak. The other two eggs were unharmed. The carrion crow moved in when Lady’s regular breeding partner – known as Laddie – was distracted chasing off another predator.

Lady, who has returned to the reserve near Dunkeld for the 24th consecutive year, laying more than 70 eggs, had been incubating three eggs in the nest.

Lady with eggs
Lady has laid more than 70 eggs over 24 years at Loch of the Lowes

Ranger Emma Rawling described the event as a “natural disaster”. She said: “Reviewing the nest camera footage we don’t believe the other eggs have been damaged – whilst another egg was picked up and dropped by the crow we believe only the one that was taken was pierced by its beak.

“Even a tiny hole or crack can introduce bacteria that will kill the chick inside, so we will continue to monitoring them carefully.

“Whilst devastating, this is a case of bad luck and unfortunate timing and we must remember that this kind of predation is entirely natural – after all the crow is feeding its own mate and young just now too.

“We are just so lucky that the female returned in time and that we did not lose the whole clutch of eggs to this predator.”

The event highlights the dangers of the ospreys being frightened off the nest – last month, police were called after two walkers disturbed the nest, leaving an egg vulnerable to predators.

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2 comments to Perthshire: Loch of the Lowes webcam catches crow about to take an osprey egg

  • nirofo

    At least it was by a natural predator and not poisoned, shot or trapped, these things happen in the natural world and nature knows how to compensate for it. Persecution by humans however is a different matter to which the birds of prey unfortunately have no natural answer !!!

  • paul williams

    There is always the NWRPG….then again we get persecuted too….