A sick osprey in Perthshire that was thought to have only hours to live appears to be making a recovery.
Thousands of webcam viewers around the world have been watching the progress of 25-year-old Lady, the oldest known breeding osprey in the UK.
The bird, which is nesting at the Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve near Dunkeld, stopped eating for three days and had become very weak.
But the reserve said they were now hopeful for her survival.
Ospreys usually live between eight and 15 years and are estimated to produce about 20 eggs during that time.
But Lady has produced 56 eggs and succeeded in raising 46 chicks to fledging.
She has also developed an international following through the webcam which is trained on her eyrie during breeding season.
Reserve manager Peter Ferns said the osprey had now begun feeding her chicks again.'Phenomenal bird'
He wrote on the Scottish Wildlife Trust blog: "What a great sight to come into this morning - our Lady feeding the chicks. She is getting stronger and stronger all the time and we are more hopeful than we have been for her survival.
"But I would like to stress that whatever happened to her at the weekend could have long-term effects on her."
On Tuesday, Lady began eating fish brought to the nest by her 10-year-old mate.
A spokeswoman for the trust said staff at the reserve were "quite excited" at the progress she was showing.
She added: "She's definitely a phenomenal bird."
On Monday, the trust warned it expected the bird to die on Tuesday or Wednesday.
She had stopped eating and had taken on a "sunken appearance" and had poor co-ordination.
Many worried webcam viewers contacted the trust on Sunday when Lady first showed signs of sickness.
I've followed the ups and downs of Lady for years now and I was saddened by the turn of events over the weekend. But it's great to see the remarkable turnaround she's made. You can follow the events on the webcam here......http://www.thewebbroadcastingcorporation.com/swt/swt.php
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Comeback amazes web audience
EXPERTS LAST night watched in amazement as Scotland’s most famous bird of prey continued to make what has been billed as the greatest comeback since Lazarus.
There was devastation among twitchers as it seemed certain inspirational 25-year-old Lady would not survive a mystery bug that struck her down at the weekend.
However, the 100,000-plus enthusiasts watching a webcam trained on her nest at Loch of the Lowes near Dunkeld are continuing to witness incredible signs of recovery.
Lady has produced an amazing 48 chicks in her 20 years at the reserve, playing a huge part in the recovery of Scotland’s osprey population.
Staff at Loch of the Lowes kept vigil as her ageing body struggled to cope with infection.
Reserve manager Peter Ferns admitted they had been fearing the worst prior to Lady’s remarkable recovery.
As he reflected on an emotional few days, he said staff were now “more hopeful than ever.”
“It was great to come in this morning to be greeted with the sight of our Lady feeding the chicks,” Peter said.
“She is getting stronger and stronger all the time and we are more hopeful than we have been for her survival.”
Nevertheless, Lady’s well-wishers from every corner of the globe are being warned that the famous old bird is not necessarily out of woods.
“I would like to stress that whatever happened to her at the weekend could have long-term effects,” he said.
“I have spoken to our vet and to other people who have been dealing with ospreys for many more years than I and they all say the same—they have never seen an osprey like this.
“Let’s enjoy what each day brings because I am sure this won’t be the last drama this season.
“We still have a few more weeks to go before our chicks fledge,” Peter added.
“That drama in itself is amazing to watch.”