Mid Wales osprey project celebrates hatching of two chicks

The Dyfi Osprey Project has celebrated two new arrivals as one of the birds under their protection successfully hatched a pair of eggs just over a month after laying them.

On May 23 at 5.10pm, Telyn, an Osprey protected under the project led by the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Association, hatched the first egg of her sixth successive brood.

With this sixth brood of hatchlings, Telyn has broken the record for the longest-breeding female on the nest, having been on the Dyfi since 2018.

The first chick came from the second egg Telyn laid, as her first did not hatch, with the second chick hatching 7.16am on May 25.

Dyfi Projects manager Emyr Evans said: “It's important to remember that, depending on the species, around 10 per cent of all birds' eggs laid in the world do not hatch. There are a variety of reasons for this.

“If an egg is not fertilised it will never hatch, even if incubated for the whole term. Only Telyn's genetic material would be in that unfertilised egg, making it impossible for a chick to develop.

“But even if fertilised, a chick may have failed to develop properly. The very first few days and the very last few days of the incubation period are when most chicks fail to develop and die in the egg. These first and last days are critical to development.”

In the days since the hatching, the Dyfi Osprey Project has been monitoring the state of the nest and the breeding pair, Telyn and Idris.

Since the eggs have hatched, Idris has caught multiple fish as a source of food for the nest, bringing back two at once on May 30.

Dyfi Osprey Project will ring the chicks in five weeks’ time in order to keep track of them as they grow and eventually leave the nest.

The project has also stated that if the unhatched egg is still intact in five weeks’ time, they will remove it and put it in a glass display box in their family tree wall in the Dyfi Wildlife Centre for educational purposes.

Mr Evans added that his own theory on why the egg did not hatch involves a delayed incubating strategy, which nesting birds will employ to ensure their eggs hatch at approximately the same time.

He said: “A delayed incubating strategy is more prone to 'did not hatch' eggs than the competing immediate incubation strategy.

“The pros of closer chick ages is countered by slightly fewer chicks hatching, resulting in a roughly similar productivity success on a population level. That's why both strategies exist in a frequency-dependent stasis.”