How do they know?
I have been able to answer many queries from past experience in handling, monitoring, gathering data, writing, working with “experts”, and learning. One of the questions that continues to baffle me is “how do young ospreys know when they have arrived on their winter grounds”? If they have not experienced migration before, why do they either keep on flying or reckon that they have arrived? Fortunately for me, most visitors do not ask this question. It is easy for me to talk about many migrants, whether they be cariboo, monarchs, warblers, many raptors, terns, etc. for they mostly gather in groups and have past experience as a collective mass. Ospreys seem not to flock on migration, they fly as individuals. By stating that they have done this for “eons” is not correct, in that only 6 or 7 thousand years ago glaciers were receding in most parts of the northern hemisphere. The few years that osprey have been occupying this part of Europe surely is not sufficient time to allow for “eons” of imprinting.
I do not know.
The important aspect of us knowing is that we do have a profound impact on all migrants by being responsible for protecting waterways, breeding habitat, safe stopover/rest areas, food supply, air and land space.
This we know. Rinchen