Barbara - I was just wondering that myself. While they must be very busy at the moment, it does seem odd that the team at LG haven't commented at all - this must be as exciting for them as for us. I really expected a new blog today.
I posted in the blog this morning to say Nigel was sending photos in, and Richard made the very next post. Other people have commented in the blog since, that the photos are in the gallery, so I think the LG team will catch up with them when they get a moment.
Interestingly Ems over at Dyfi Facebook site, having seen the pictures of Rothes, has proclaimed that the osprey in the picture is a male. Heather Corfield thinks likewise. Both of these people are formidable authorities on ospreys.
ChloeB and Tiger's data site ? Link to the Important Loch Garten Links
Hi Cirrius - What convinces me is the lack of the brown necklace as Wattling15 explains. Also for first born he/she was the lightest at ringing much lighter than Mallachie and Garten but on the heavier side for a male but I think this may be down to the excellent feeding provided by Odin that year. I have been searching through all my pictures of 2/3 year olds and the pictures are more like the males than the females all which have the necklace. As soon as I saw the picture I said this can not be Rothes as it is a male until all the photos were published and we id the ring. Tiger/Alan/Sue what are your thoughts or atre you keeping quiet about this.
I think we need the original ringer to take a second look now two years on and determine from the pictures - maybe Roy will let us know through Richard. LG may comment soon on the sex.
Actually I was waiting for someone more expert to say! I wasn't sure whether the brown necklace might develop as a female reaches sexual maturity i.e. 3 yrs old, but your pictures suggest otherwise then.
It might be interesting to look at Rutland Water's experience here, as they probably identify more 2 year old returning ospreys than any other single location. Have there been any similar examples of birds which were thought to be female at ringing, and then returned as 2 yr olds with white chests? If they continued to return, did their appearance change and if they bred, what sex did they turn out to be?
Keith I have not studied the problem properly but the evidence seems to be building that Rothes is indeed male. Looking at the weights of the three chicks when they were ringed it does seem that Rothes was indeed quite a bit lighter than Mallachie or Garten.
Wasn't Henry thought to be female when ringed?
I thought that the sexing of Rothes is maybe one of the reasons why Richard has not commented yet.
Sue - One of the comparisons I was studying was against Rutland 06(09) who bears similarity and was male. However your thoughts regarding whether the necklace develops at a later stage as the bird reaches sexual maturity gave me thoughts also so we were thinking alike but then I am no expert but like others we are learning every day - I leave (expert) that to Roy. There have been similar mistaken cases at ringing - I remember researching a couple last year but never noted the case study so can not reference these.
Ah ha. So we can see the ring PJ and confirm the photograph is indeed of dear Rothes-as if this could have been another osprey given the backpack. Fantastic and absolutely headline news in osprey circles. Wonderful comments from everyone today and great news for the satellite tagging project. Looking forward to my visit to LG next Wednesday.
Thank you so much Nigel for starting this thread and in posting your excellent photos (despite the murky conditions) of our Rothes.
I was taken aback when I saw the first photo as it struck me immediately that I was looking at a male osprey. As it wasn't then confirmed 100% that the photo was of Rothes (which it now is) I didn't want to jump the gun and merely stated it was an interesting pic! Now Nigel has kindly posted further photos there's no getting away from the fact that Rothes is certainly a clean-breasted osprey. At the very least this has to raise the prospect that Rothes is male but I'd caution against forming too firm an opinion based solely on one diagnostic feature in one group of photos, no matter how good they might be.
Right now it doesn't matter what we think, or what we might conclude about the sex of Rothes, or who's opinion we solicit. Ultimately they're only opinions - we'll find out for definite in the coming years when Rothes breeds for the first time. If that happens, and we're still able to track him/her that far I, for one, will be extremely happy.
Hear hear SANDY.
If Rothes turns out to be a male that will be yet another one of the twists and turns of the LG nest.
I think if Rothes is a male it may be a slight adjustment for us to become accustomed to. We have referred to " her" for 2 years. LOL
Formerly known as Barbara Jean
It looks like one or more of Rothes tail feathers may also damaged. They are separated in the center.
Does anyone have picture of other Ospreys in flight to show if her tail feathers should be separated as they are in all of the pictures??
Barbara, from the pics, it appears that Rothes has one broken tail feather, next to the centre feather, which shouldn't disrupt his/her flying ability much at all, particularly as the only other damaged feather I can see is on the wing on the opposite side of the body, which would sort of balance things out a bit. I have birds visiting me regularly with many more missing or damaged feathers that this, and it doesn't seem to impede their flight much at all. Our visiting male magpie has had two badly bent/broken feathers next to each other on one wing for over 6 months, and he is still able to defend tis territory brilliantly. Broken feathers remain in place until the next moult, when they will be replaced. However, if feathers are plucked out, they wil re-grow much sooner than this.