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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Staff ecstatic as chick hatches
EJ on the nest on Thursday. Picture courtesy of RSPB Scotland
EJ sitting on the nest at the Loch Garten reserve
The first of three eggs fathered by an osprey that destroyed a rival's clutch has hatched.

The twists and turns in the feathered soap opera involving three adult birds of prey at Loch Garten in the Highlands has captivated the public and RSPB.

Osprey Henry arrived from wintering in West Africa to find his long-time mate EJ had laid eggs with rival male VS.

Henry kicked the eggs from the nest, before fathering a fresh clutch which EJ has been incubating.

The first of the three eggs hatched early on Thursday morning, with the other two chicks expected to hatch over the next few days.

'Wonderful story'

Loch Garten osprey centre manager, Richard Thaxton, told BBC Scotland's news website that all three chicks would have a good chance of surviving provided there was plenty of food available.

He added: "This is fantastic news. We're just delighted that it looks like being a happy end to the season, and that visitors will actually be able to see osprey chicks here at the centre.

"EJ laid four eggs near the end of April, but Henry, her regular mate, got rid of those when he arrived back from West Africa.

"Thankfully, Henry's really good at catching fish and both birds are in their prime, so she did re-lay in mid May.

"What's happened this year is really unusual, so we're privileged to have played host to such a wonderful story."

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

Close watch on osprey's egg feat
21 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
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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