Osprey Project07/08/2022

Update on Juvenile Osprey 5H2

It’s been a busy and difficult last 36 hours, but we wanted to provide a quick update for everyone on the condition of the younger Osprey chick 5H2, who was unfortunately at the receiving end of a predation attempt by a Goshawk on Friday evening. The juvenile Goshawk first put in an appearance on the webcam at around 18:30, before returning to the nest again at 19:40 and making an attempt at 5H2.

Despite CJ7’s impressive reaction to the Goshawk, our team were concerned for 5H2 and reacted quickly, locating her on the ground near the nesting tree. She had sustained a considerable wound to her flank which required attention, and so was collected and cared for at an emergency vet over Friday night, and transferred to a specialist vets on Saturday morning.

Currently, 5H2 is still in a stable condition in veterinary care, where she is being closely monitored. She has been administered antibiotics and pain relief for the muscle damage to her left flank, which will require further assessment and ongoing medical attention. In spite of the seriousness of her injury, she has been consistently alert and bright-eyed, which has provided some reassurance to our team. We will keep you updated when we have further information on her condition.

Juvenile female Goshawk seen on the webcam on Friday evening

The Goshawk is also known to have survived, but seems not to have returned to the nest site since the incident: hopefully deterred by CJ7’s reaction. It’s very important to remember that Goshawk have been historically persecuted, just like the Osprey, and have only begun expanding their range in recent years. The individual in this case appears to have been a juvenile female dispersing from their nest, which may have been local but could be somewhere much further afield. Goshawk are formidable hunters and natural predators of other young raptors such as Ospreys, but should not be demonised for their behaviour and recovery in a landscape when they have been wiped out. We hope that the events of Friday were just a one off with a juvenile trying its luck, but we have still put in a few mitigating measures on the site and are closely monitoring the nest, simply because of the importance of this particular Osprey nest in starting a new population. CJ7, 022 and 5H1 have all been seen since Friday, with no further Goshawk activity reported so far.

We want to say a huge thank you to Tim Mackrill, who has been providing fantastic support since Friday evening, our volunteer Jon Pollard who was monitoring the birds at the time and provided invaluable information to us, as well as the vets who have been helping us since Friday. Thank you all for you kind words and support, we’ll continue to update you as and when we can.

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