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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Close watch on osprey's egg feat
Osprey - general
The osprey developments are subject to close scrutiny
A female osprey has become the first in Scotland in a quarter of a century to lay a second clutch of three eggs.

EJ had mated with a rogue male called VS rather than her usual partner Henry at RSPB Scotland's Loch Garten Centre on Speyside.

Henry smashed his rival's clutch but has now fathered a fresh clutch with EJ, staff said.

Site manager Richard Thaxton said the female laid her third some time last Wednesday or Thursday.

The twists during this year's breeding season at the Highland reserve have drawn dozens of visitors but Mr Thaxton said it was too early to say how numbers compare to last year.

He said: "For an osprey to re-lay a clutch of three eggs is very, very rare.

Like all birds of prey, osprey start incubating from egg one and the eggs hatch in sequence
Richard Thaxton,
Site manager

"As far as we know the last time this happened was 25 years ago."

The first egg is expected to hatch on 15 June with the other two on 18 and 21 June.

Provided there is plenty of food, all three chicks have a good chance of surviving, said Mr Thaxton.

'Some competition'

He said: "Like all birds of prey, osprey start incubating from egg one and the eggs hatch in sequence.

"The first chick will be bigger and stronger than the second and third and there will always be some competition in the nest."

Osprey from West Africa have been flying to Loch Garten for 50 years.

This year, the saga of jealousy and violence began when EJ returned before Henry and mated with VS.

When Henry arrived he knew the eggs in the nest were not his and got rid of them by knocking them out of the nest.


SEE ALSO
Jealous osprey's eggs incubating
15 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Jealous osprey makes up with mate
11 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Bird kicks rival's eggs from nest
24 Apr 07 |  Highlands and Islands
First osprey hatches in reserve
25 May 06 |  Tayside and Central
Three and EJ at wild bird reserve
25 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
First chick lands in Tweed Valley
23 May 06 |  South of Scotland
Osprey chicks at Boat of Garten
22 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Scotland flies high on bird money
23 Apr 06 |  Scotland

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