Facts about Osprey Population Recovery

Fact 61

Ospreys became breeding extinct in the UK in 1916. They didn’t return to breed until 1954 in the Highlands of Scotland but this pair was persecuted and didn't breed successfully again until 1959.

Fact 62

The birds that returned to the UK to breed were not re-introduced, but were probably Scandinavian ospreys that colonised naturally. There is always the possibility however that a small remnant population of just a few individuals managed to make it through the 1910s - 1950s unrecorded.

Fact 63

The returning ospreys had to be carefully guarded to protect them from illegal egg collectors. Many nests still deploy 24 hour surveillance when there are eggs in the nest; all those nests in the public domain do, including the Dyfi nest.

Glesni - night watch
Fact 64

Today the osprey population in the UK is slowly recovering. There are now around 270 breeding pairs in Scotland, 20 breeding pairs in England and 4 breeding pairs in Wales.

Fact 65

The population of Ospreys south of Scotland owes much to the translocation project undertaken at Rutland Water in the mid 1990s where young birds from Scottish nests were moved and released at the reservoir. Nora and Glesni were both born at Rutland (as were Blue 24 and Blue 5F).

Fact 66

Osprey conservation is helped by the fact that ospreys will readily adopt artificial nest platforms, especially where there is a shortage of suitable trees in which to nest. Natural ancestral nests from centuries ago will have been destroyed or developed over; setting up platforms replaces some of those nests - the ospreys don't seem to mind!

Fact 67

It is not only Britain where ospreys have recolonised after extinction events. They returned to breed in France in 1984, and the population has grown rapidly since then to over 40 pairs near the Forest of Orleans, just south of Paris.

Fact 68

The Dyfi Osprey Project nest was built and erected in 2007.

Fact 69

Ospreys have Schedule 1 status in the UK. This means that it is a criminal offence, with heavy penalties, to steal, injure or disturb these birds at or near their nest.

Fact 70

Following the slow recovery of the osprey population in the UK, it wasn't until 2004 that ospreys recolonised Wales again after an absence of many centuries. This nest was in mid Wales between Welshpool and Newtown and produced one chick. It was 2011 that the first chicks hatched at the Dyfi nest -these three chicks successfully fledged from the nest that year (Einion ♂, Dulas ♂and Leri♀).

Einion, Dulas and Leri in 2011