The Bassenthwaite chick has had its health check and has been ringed. She is a female and unsurprisingly large as she has the lion’s share of the grub! Her British Trust for Ornithology Darvic coloured ring designation is now Blue 400. In the short term this should make her easy to identify after she fledges in the next weeks and, if she survives her first migrations, a tool to recognise her by if she makes it back to the North Lakes.
This 5 week old chick below (photo LDOP 2016) shows all the characteristics of a young osprey juvenile. Eyes are orange – in the adult they are yellow. Feather edgings are buff to break up the outline and blend in with nest material. Although bones have grown to nearly full size (enabling a ring to be fitted without becoming tight) muscle has yet to catch up. This means juvenile ospreys are very docile in the hands of the ringer – an advantage for both bird and human considering the amount of pain an inadvertent talon or beak puncture might inflict.