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Sunday, August 22, 1999 Published at 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK


Bird's eye view of osprey odyssey

The rare birds head for Africa, but are threatened by hunters

Ten ospreys are to be fitted with satellite transmitters to track their migration on the Internet.

The BBC's Environment Correspondent: "Ospreys were first re-introduced into Scotland"
Details of the route of the rare fish-eating birds will be studied to help researchers establish the dangers they face along the way.

Ospreys became extinct in England 150 years ago, but last year a number of wildlife groups took steps to encourage the birds to breed in England, after their successful reintroduction in Scotland.

Ospreys usually spend several months near their nests before migrating to West Africa. They remain there for about three years, before returning to their birthplace to breed.

Information relayed to a Website will help researchers establish whether the birds fly across areas where they are threatened by hunters' guns, particularly in France, Spain and Africa.

Feeding sites

"We need to know if any ospreys make the journey to Spain and where their stopover feeding sites are," said Roy Dennis, of the Highland Foundation for Wildlife.

A Website, launched on Sunday by the Anglian Water Osprey Project in partnership with the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, features maps linked to individual birds.

In July last year, chicks were taken from broods in Scotland and put into huge pens overlooking a 3,000-acre lake in Leicestershire.

The area, Rutland Water, is used by ospreys as a stopover point on their way back to Scotland from North Africa.

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31 Jul 98 | UK
Ospreys return to England

Internet Links

The International Osprey Foundation

Royal Society for Protection of Birds

BBC live camera of nesting osprey

Anglian Water Osprey Project

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