Tayside and Central Scotland

Dramatic displays as ospreys fend off intruders

Osprey and buzzard Image copyright Marion Moore
Image caption The female osprey known as "Lassie" has been seen chasing off a buzzard

A pair of nesting ospreys at the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve have been fending off winged intruders.

Scottish Wildlife Trust said the female bird nicknamed Lassie and her mate have defended their nest against buzzards and other ospreys.

The Trust said visitors had been treated to "acrobatic displays" by the pair, in between the birds incubating their eggs and catching fish.

The full clutch of three eggs are expected to hatch in the middle of May.

Charlotte Fleming, Perthshire ranger for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: "Ospreys are very territorial and fiercely defend their nests.

"There are always younger birds hanging around the established nests looking for a chance to sneak in and breed.

"This keeps the current pair on their toes and gives our visitors a chance to see the ospreys put on an amazing display of skilled flying."

Lassie, known officially as Lowes Female 15 or LF 15, hatched three chicks at the Dunkeld reserve last summer.

Once extinct in the UK, there are now around 240 breeding pairs of ospreys thanks to the efforts of nature conservation charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust,

The Osprey Protection Programme is supported by the People's Postcode Lottery.

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