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Globe-trotting exploits of ospreys gets tracked

MSMP 6918 Osprey (4028620)
MSMP 6918 Osprey (4028620)

A pair of ospreys from Rutland Water have been satellite tagged so their globe-trotting exploits can be examined.

One of the males has already flown 3,358 miles from Rutland Water to the Western Sahara in Africa in nine days after GPS units were installed on the birds as part of the Leicestershire and Rutland Osprey Project.

Lloyd Park, from Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “The transmitters provide highly accurate data that allows us to plot the birds’ exact movements both day and night.

“This is giving us an incredible insight into a range of different behaviours, including where and when they are fishing.”

The trust enlisted the help and guidance of world-renowned osprey expert, Roy Dennis and colleague, Dr Tim Mackrill, from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, to track the bird’s annual marathon migration flights.

They fly to the west coast of Africa for winter and return to Rutland each spring to nest and raise chicks.

This 3,000-mile journey sees young birds, which fly independently from their parents, battle strong winds that can carry them off track as they fly 200 to 300 miles a day.

Around 30 per cent actually survive their first migration.

Dr Tim Mackrill, said: “As adult ospreys they will already have established wintering sites, so it will be fascinating to find out exactly where they go. Some European ospreys winter in Spain or Portugal, but most fly into west African countries such as Senegal and the Gambia.

“A third Rutland osprey, known as 30(05), has been tracked since 2013 and migrates to the coast of Senegal each winter.

“In the past she has completed the 3000-mile journey in as little as 11 days.”

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