Who’s catching the fish?

The juvenile ospreys and dad are still around and sometimes a fish is eaten on the nest. Both the female juvenile 1H and dad have been seen landing with one. So 1H could be catching fish, but today she was happy to eat dad’s offering.

2H having a good squawk on Sunday. Image from the Forestry Commission camera

On Sunday, 2H was on the nest for a while having a good squawk. As mentioned in a previous post, youngsters beg even after they have started fishing for themselves so this behaviour does not mean he can’t provide for himself. On Monday one of the pair, probably the male although his ring wasn’t visible, sat on the nest for a short time. And yesterday 2H spent some time housekeeping by moving sticks around the nest. So at that point it wasn’t clear that 1H was still at Kielder. But…

Dad has the fish, 1H wants it! Image from the Forestry Commission camera

Today she arrived on the nest in close pursuit of dad, who had just landed with a fish. Having got rid of him she spent the next half hour or so tucking in without interruption. She looked around often so may have been checking her sibling wasn’t sneaking up to grab her meal. Soon that potential competition won’t be there as all three ospreys will be migrating.

Many ospreys have already arrived in W Africa, others are en route. Satellite tracked ospreys provide a fascinating insight into the birds’ journeys. Often more knowledge means less mystery, but in some ways the data from the tracking adds to the wonder surrounding ospreys. Blue 44, the sole juvenile from Loch of the Lowes, began his migration last Monday. From having had no trips outside the area (near Dunkeld) he reached a roost near Cragside, Rothbury on his first night. So  in under 12 hours he travelled more than 10 times the mileage he’d ever flown in a day. Ceulan, the sole survivor at Dyfi, flew non stop for nearly 12 hours over the Atlantic less than a week after starting his migration. And most amazing of all, Alba, a female juvenile from Loch Garten, has the record for reaching her new home in West Africa after just 2 weeks. No UK satellite tracked osprey has done it before at that speed. What fantastic birds.

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5 Responses to Who’s catching the fish?

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Thanks for the update. Jock and I were talking about the journeys this lunchtime, and wondered about stopping places. Do they stop to fish, needing rivers or lakes?

  2. joannadailey says:

    An osprey in good condition can go several days without needing to fish. Ceulan from Dyfi has just flown over the Sahara Desert so no food for well over a day and this morning he was about 360 miles from the Senegal River, a popular spot. But he veered west and ended up at the lagoons on the Mauritanian coast, a ‘mere’ 230 miles. So did he feel an urgent need for food? We’ll never know, but his diversion from what has been a straight-ish course suggests he fancied a bite!

    • vivinfrance says:

      Thank you, Joanna – that’s fascinating – I would never have thought of them crossing the Sahara

      • joannadailey says:

        Quite a few do and unfortunately some don’t make it. One of the Rutland Water satellite tagged birds 09 has managed it before and on 11 September he was roosting on the edge of the desert, then yesterday moved into a valley where it is possible water might be found. So he’s getting set for his big challenge.

  3. Vanessa Greene says:

    I just found your blog today…love connecting with other osprey enthusiasts. Perhaps you would be interested in my. Log about ospreys in Minnesota…ospreywatch.blogspot.com
    Or my Facebook page about them
    Our ospreys have just begun to return. Our population began as a reintroduction in 1986 and now I am monitoring 88 occupied territories (in 2012).
    I have learned a lot about behaviors and every year something interesting happens!
    Keep up the good work!

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