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Does she look like a Nala? Public vote to find name for female osprey mum at Loch Garten

Two osprey chicks were born at Loch Garten last month; the first of their kind to be born at the reserve since 2018.
Two osprey chicks were born at Loch Garten last month; the first of their kind to be born at the reserve since 2018.

Bird lovers are being asked to name a female osprey mum who gave birth to two chicks on Loch Garten.

The chicks were born at Scotland’s most famous nest in Speyside last month, for the first time eggs have hatched in four years.

But mum, who has used the nest for the first time, doesn’t have a name – and the RSPB want help to christen her.

Loch Garten, part of RSPB Scotland’s Abernethy National Nature Reserve, has become renowned for its breeding population of ospreys.

The previous female, EJ, occupied the nest in the Cairngorms from 2003 until 2018, giving birth to 25 chicks.

The site has been vacant since 2018 after EJ failed to return from her annual migration. She had used the nest for 15 years.

Conservationists hope the new mother and the resident male, named Axel after his AX6 leg ring, will now begin a new dynasty.

Ada, Asha, Dilead, Nala or Una?

RSPB Scotland are now turning to the public to name the female osprey to mark the milestone occasion.

Charity officials have compiled a shortlist of five names for the unringed female – Ada, Asha, Dilead, Nala and Una.

EJ, occupied the nest at Loch Garten from 2003 until 2018.

A RSPB spokesman said: “For the first time in four years, RSPB Loch Garten has an active osprey nest again, with two chicks. Our new mother needs a name.”

RSPB Scotland explained that Ada is a name from West Africa, where many ospreys spend their winter.

Asha translates to “hope” in Sanskrit, and “life” in Swahili, which the conservation charity says are “two things that this female is bringing to Loch Garten”.

Dileab, a Gaelic word pronounced “jeel-eep”, means “legacy”, which could be a fitting name for a female raising the next generation of ospreys.

Meanwhile, Nala is the name of the lioness who becomes queen in The Lion King, reflecting the bird’s regal standing.

And Una is a Gaelic name signifying truth and unity, with a connection to Scotland where the female is breeding.

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