Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 14:14 UK

Plan to tag and track chicks trio

Osprey and chicks at Loch Garten nest site (Pic: RSPB)
Female osprey EJ and her three chicks on the Loch Garten nest

Three osprey chicks in the Highlands could be tagged to allow experts to track their migrations by satellite.

The trio are being raised by a male bird called VS and female EJ in a nest at a RSPB Scotland reserve at Loch Garten, near Aviemore.

The reserve's Richard Thaxton said tracking would give an insight into the birds' behaviour.

Many of Scotland's osprey spend the winter in Africa before returning in summer to breed.

Mr Thaxton said: "Satellite tags would give us a lot of information about where they go in winter and the distance of their migration.

"We would see how their journeys vary during the day, the circumstances that decides whether they make a sea crossing or not and where they make stops."

'Nasty viewing'

The chicks, which can be seen on the internet via a webcam, will start to fledge by the middle of July before attempting short maiden flights to nearby trees.

Mr Thaxton said there had been concerns from some viewers about the smallest and youngest of the birds, which has been "bullied" by its siblings.

He said: "It makes nasty viewing, but our experience from the past is that the chicks can survive this."

Meanwhile, a male called Henry has failed to appear this year after making six previous visits to Loch Garten.

Staff fear he may have died as osprey are faithful to sites and can live for as long as 22-24 years.

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31 Mar 08 |  Highlands and Islands
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03 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands


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