Nest DIY

As they patrol for fish, ospreys fly high over the water to get a good clear view. They have to deal with glare and reflection, as well as decide on the fish’s size and position in the water before they commit themselves to a plunge dive. All this decision making has to take place whilst often being hassled mercilessly by other local birds such as black-headed gulls and crows. Most the birds hunting on the Rothimurcus fish farm are adult males providing for their families. Often weighing in at about 1.5 kilos, they may only be three times as heavy as the fish they are catching and this they must catch and manoeuvre out of the water. At the nest, the Springwatch team has been following the male as he has gone into hunting overdrive now that the chicks have hatched. It's the female’s job to tear the food into small pieces and share it out between the chicks. Before the eggs hatched, the female was fiddling incessantly with bits of moss and grass in the nest, making sure there was no way that the eggs could roll away by creating a deep moss covered cup. Once the eggs had hatched she began collecting new large branches, often breaking them directly from the tree to create a larger nest to protect her chicks. The male joined in her efforts after his hunting duties were over. Slow motion shows how he plucks material from a tree.

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