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June 13 2017

Habitat

Incredible footage of osprey chicks hatching has been caught on Rottnest Island

Talons outstretched and eyes ablaze, an Osprey swoops into its nest intent on feeding its new born babies with its latest prey.

This is just one scene from incredible footage captured by cameras recently placed in Osprey nests around Rottnest island.

The extremely clear and intimate footage also features the birth of Rottnest Island's two newest Osprey hatch-lings as they snuggle up to warm mum, enjoying her protection.

The footage opens up an amazing realm of the baby Ospreys who – thanks to the wonders of modern filming technology – are witnessed at dramatically close quarters for the first time on Rottnest Island.

This footage comes from a carefully placed camera trap in an osprey nest located on Green Island, a tiny islet sitting near the coast of Rottnest Island's south side. There are at least 14 nest sites on Rottnest Island and the oldest are easily viewable at Salmon Bay and West End’s Eagle Bay.

Ospreys nests, also known as stacks, can be located and viewed around the Island. They are some of the largest and durable natural structures in Western Australia, with some up to an incredible 70 years old. Faithful Ospreys will use the same nest and continue to add a little bit more to it year after year.

Ospreys can be identified by their strongly hooked beak, very powerful legs and impressive wingspan of up to 1.5 metres. They use their powerful legs to plunge into the water feet first to snatch their feed, which mainly consists of small fish. 

Osprey’s eye sight allows them to spot fish up to 40 metres above the water. Typically they will lay three eggs, with both parents taking turns incubating the eggs whilst the other hunts for food.