The high flyers were fitted with mini GPS trackers to help the Rutland Osprey Project track their movements throughout the year. The data is providing valuable information on their movements locally too.
The GPS units, weighing only 30g, work on solar power and allow location, altitude and speed to be recorded. The units are fitted to the birds like a small rucksack, allowing them to continue their normal activities.
Lloyd Park, Reserve Officer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve 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 two ospreys were tagged under the guidance of world-renowned osprey expert, Roy Dennis, and colleague Dr Tim Mackrill, from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation. They are working with the Trust’s Rutland Osprey Project, to shed new light on the annual marathon migration flights the birds make, flying to the west coast of Africa to over winter, and then returning to Rutland each spring to nest and raise chicks. The epic 3,000-mile journey sees young birds, which fly independently from their parents, battle strong winds that can carry them off track. Only 30% or so survive that first migration flight.