For the last 50 years, Osprey conservation has been taking place at Loch Of The Lowes, and this Spring the famous birds returned to the area once again. The wildlife reserve in Perthshire has been home to Ospreys since 1969 and plays a vital role in the conservation of the Ospreys in Scotland.
Nature lovers, locals and tourists regularly visit Loch Of The Lowes to see the rare birds up close, and the resident Ospreys have become firm favourites in the community. Osprey LM12, known locally as Laddie, has been the breeding male of Loch of the Lowes since 2012. He is joined every year by the resident female Osprey, LM15 or Lassie, and the pair have successfully fledged ten chicks together over the last five seasons.
The History of Ospreys At Loch Of The Lowes
Back at the end of the 19th century, Ospreys became extinct in the majority of the UK. Scotland was the only area where the birds stayed, until 1916 when they became officially extinct as a breeding bird in Britain. Over the next 40 years, Ospreys were spotted around Britain occasionally on their migration, but no successful breeding took place in the country.
The Ospreys were breeding in Scandinavia during this time, and there was a significant focus on encouraging the famous birds to return to Scotland. Artificial nesting platforms and legal protection eventually led to Ospreys returning to the country. They returned in 1969 to Loch of the Lowes, which was the fifth Osprey nest in the UK at the time. Over the last 50 years, Ospreys have been successfully breeding in the Perthshire wildlife reserve.
Visiting Loch Of The Lowes
Covering an impressive 98 hectares of Perthshire, Loch Of The Lowes wildlife reserve is home to much more than just Ospreys. Various other wildlife live in the area throughout the year, including Eurasian beavers, otters, red squirrels, pine martens and many species of bird.
The Ospreys can be seen from the Loch Of The Lowes observation hide between April and August every year. There is a visitor centre that is open every day throughout the year and online webcams set up around the reserve give nature lovers the chance to see the local wildlife from anywhere in the world.