12 young ospreys travel to Spain as part of a breeding programme

Animalcouriers arranged flights with BA for 12 osprey chicks to fly from Scotland to Spain as part of a breeding program for Urdaibai Bird Center in association with the University of the Basque Country.

The ospreys transited briefly through London Heathrow, where they were fast-tracked by BA to keep their journey time as short as possible.

The breeding program team wrote to tell us:

“Everything went well and all 12 chicks are now safely in the hacking cages* in the Basque country. All of them had a good transit and are now eating plenty of fresh fish, prior to release later in the month. Thanks very much for your help.  Be in touch next May.”

*Hacking cages are where young birds of prey are kept for a short time to adjust to a new environment before being released.

Ornithologist Roy Dennis was the main organiser in the UK. Roy’s website tells you about his foundation in Aberdeen where the chicks were bred.

To see where ospreys travel during their migration season, visit the RaptorTrack website.

The ospreys in their travel boxes

The ospreys in their travel boxes

This chick has a very beady eye!

This chick has a very beady eye!

Settling in to their hacking cages

Settling in to their hacking cages

47 thoughts on “12 young ospreys travel to Spain as part of a breeding programme

      • I know it’s not ideal but we are super chuffed as we have a wood pigeon who has nested in a tree in the front garden which is about a foot from our lounge window. We have seen it all happen and now the chick is about two weeks old and is pretty big. It’s amazing to see the evolution of birds and life, even if they are ones that are considered a pest by many. May have to take some piccies for the blog! 🙂

        Like

  1. Pingback: Baby ospreys born in Wales | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Wonderful birds…all birds of prey amaze me..we have a family of four wedge-tailed eagles and they soar low and watch us it always leaves me feeling so small…beautiful story 🙂
    Hugs Fozziemum x

    Like

      • Exactly…saw apictur at a sanctuary which showed a mouse and how our vision is compared to theirs…extraordinary…this one was so low this day we could see his head moving side to side watching us…I was almost in tears..so beautiful..while driving through Tasmania on holiday we rounded a corner and a white bellied sea eagle was startled by us..he was on the road about to pick up a dead pademelon (like a small wallaby) watching him take off with such power and grace stunning!

        Like

  3. Astonishing and beautiful story.Great efforts.Thank you for liking my post (Accolades / Awards ) cheers. jalal

    Like

  4. Photographing bald eagles today in Alaska. Watched Osprey catching fish earlier on our trip north. Good for you guys! They are beautiful birds. –Curt

    Like

    • We didn’t actually transport this lovely lot but one of the directors has this to say on transporting birds of prey (not brief but says it as it should be):

      Birds of Prey are usually transported in enclosed boxes with a perch or carpet on the floor for the birds to grip on to so they don’t slide about and panic. They can become quite stressed so you work on the principle that what they can’t see won’t spook them. Some are transported with a leather hood on their heads of the type falconers use.

      Obviously ventilation must be provided.

      Ideally the journey should be as quick as possible. Part of the reason is that these birds store food in their crop and this can go off if they are disturbed and don’t digest it properly. It is common to deny adult birds food prior to travel but youngsters need to be fed. I believe the chap organizing this transfer had special permission to enter the bonded area to feed them. He knows most of the senior staff.

      Water must be provided.

      The rules about moving birds of prey are very strict as most of them are under threat in the wild. On one side there are fools who think they are a pest and on the other hand from egg collectors and Falconers.

      They are making a comeback in the UK. When I was a kid you had to go to Wales or Scotland to see a Buzzard but now they are getting common again. Several pairs nest near me. Also Red Kites have made a strong return in the areas where they were reintroduced.

      Ospreys in the UK are still rare and I think a lot of the ones we have are from Scandinavian stock successfully introduced a few years ago.

      As we travel around Europe we see a lot of birds of prey in France, Spain and Portugal. Buzzards, Kites, Falcons, Eagles and even Vultures. They are successful because these countries didn’t go in for breeding birds to be fattened up and released so rich idiots could stand around and kill them. The misguided lackeys who bred the birds systematically and cruelly poisoned and hunted the birds of prey to protect the overfed and inbred Pheasants and Partridges.

      Like

      • Isn’t it interesting that one man’s exciting reintroduction is another man’s pest? We have that problem with wolves here in the US. They were here first, farmers killed them, and now reintroduction efforts are negatively impacted by people who want to poach them in the most extreme or protest at the very least.

        Yellowstone had a wolf population, hunted to extinction. The wolves started to make a comeback, and there was great debate as to whether or not the govt should introduce wolves themselves, the thought being that if the wolves repopulated the area on their own, wolves couldn’t be removed due to their protected status. So frustrating. Cows and sheep aren’t part of the natural ecosystem, but lots of people don’t seem to realize it.

        Thanks so much for the information! This is why I love your blog. I always learn things.

        Like

  5. I love all Raptors…ospreys are particularly beautiful birds…I am glad there are breeding programs for them & thrilled you are on board transporting such lovely birds!!! Well done!!!
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue xo

    Like

  6. Pingback: Osprey chicks fly from Scotland to Spain | on the road with Animalcouriers

  7. Pingback: Osprey chicks fly from Scotland to Spain - Animalcouriers

Comments are closed.