SPB Scotland is appealing for help from members of the public who are being asked to report nesting ospreys and sightings of ospreys across Aberdeenshire this Spring.
The conservation charity monitors nesting ospreys in Aberdeenshire to keep an eye on how they are doing. Ospreys first bred in Aberdeenshire in the early 1990s. After slowly increasing, numbers have levelled off recently at around 20 pairs. This is partly because they are colonising further south in Scotland and in England, but RSPB Scotland’s local conservation team believe they might be missing nesting pairs because ospreys can be surprisingly elusive.
Ian Francis, Conservation Manager for RSPB Scotland in Aberdeen. said: “Although ospreys are one of Scotland’s largest and most characteristic breeding birds, they can be very secretive and their nests are often difficult to find. So we are sure there are local nests that we don’t know about.
"We are urging people to get in touch, by phone, email or a private message on social media, to tell us about where they have seen ospreys, particularly if they’ve seen one carrying a fish or if they think they have spotted a nest.”
Ospreys can nest in any suitable tree or woodland, often far from rivers and lochs. They create large distinctive stick nests, known as eyries, usually in the tops of trees. At this time of year, they should be incubating eggs, but parents will become more active as they start to bring food to the young birds from late May.
Ian added: “Even if people think we already know about a nest, we’d like them to contact us because we’d really like to make sure we have a full picture of what these birds are up to!”
If you have spotted an osprey you can contact RSPB Scotland by firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01224 624824. All information will be kept securely, and only used as part of the annual osprey monitoring scheme.