Hi-tech bird tracking

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AN osprey tagging system at Rutland Water will allow Rutland Osprey Project members to monitor their feeding habits and track them down if they go missing.

Birds at the project based at Lyndon have been fitted with satellite transmitters which will allow staff to see where they are at all times.

Three male ospreys from Rutland Water have gone missing, feared shot, in the last 13 months.

Project officer Tim Mackrill said: “The three birds that we lost all failed to return to their nests after fishing trips, but with no means of tracking them we do not know exactly where they disappeared.

“The satellite transmitters will therefore be hugely beneficial. They are accurate to within a few metres and record the bird’s position every hour.

“If the birds go missing, we will know where.”

The transmitters have been paid for using money that has been donated to the project since the disappearance of the third bird, 08(97), last month.

Tim added: “We have been completely overawed by the level of support that we have received, both locally and from further afield.

“Each transmitter costs more than £2,500 and it is only thanks to the generosity of project supporters that we have been able to purchase them.”

Two birds have been fitted with the transmitters so far.

They were caught and fitted by Roy Dennis, who is an expert on ospreys and travelled from Scotland especially to perform the task.