Firstly I’d like to say a HUGE THANKYOU to everyone who has donated to our satellite tracking appeal for our ospreys . We have been overwhelmed by the generous response of our readers, supporters and members to this project, with an amazing £4462 raised so far! This is more than we had dared hope for and enough to enable us to tag a chick from Loch of the Lowes this year ( all being well with the birds ) and have enough left over to springboard the fund for another tag next year. We hope this will mean we are able to continue this scientific research over several years to get a real insight into osprey migrations and its mysteries and help the bird’s conservation long term.
A special thank you to everyone who sent money to the fund after hearing one of my talks , and to those who sent money in memory of friends and family , such as The Biddle family in memory of Christine Hayler, and even to my mum in Australia, Judie , who follows our birds from afar! Thank you to everyone who has so kindly supported our work in this very practical way- it is really appreciated.
For those of you wondering if there is any news of Blue 44 , last year’s Osprey chick from Loch of the Lowes, the answer is unfortunately no I’m afraid. We are not getting any data sent to the satellite from his transmitter, since we lost touch with him in Spain last November. This could be because he has died, or because the transmitter has stopped working (due to a fault or it falling off). We don’t know which of these scenarios is correct, but since our colleagues in Spain could not find a body in the last known location, and because of the way the data stopped suddenly we have some reason to hope it was a transmitter failure not a death so we will continue to watch out for him in the years to come as he matures enough to return to Scotland. We must remember that many young ospreys die in their first year- some experts put the figure as high as 50-70% of them who don’t make it through their first migration and winter. This can be due to bad weather, starvation, getting lost, being illegally shot, entanglement in power lines, fishing lines and litter, being dragged under by fish, predation and so on. There is no evidence to suggest that the satellite transmitter was the cause of this bird’s demise.
Meanwhile our second satellite tracked bird Blue YD continues to do brilliantly in Senegal- he is currently living on a beach south of the capital, fishing in the warm waves- lucky thing! He seems to be more settled on the coast this week, and it may be he has taken up the prime territory there vacated by an adult osprey who has headed north to Europe. Don’t forget you can us the interactive satellite tracking map on our website to follow his progress.