6 September 2012
Media and Communications Officer
After surviving Scotland’s soggy summer, a young osprey may have flown into the history books by making a record-breaking journey to sunnier climes.
In just two weeks, ‘Alba’ left her natal home at RSPB Loch Garten and made her hazardous 3000 mile maiden migration to West Africa.
Having only hatched earlier this year, the female bird has astounded online audiences who have been following her journey on the internet.
Alba and her sister Caledonia were fitted with satellite tags before leaving the nest so both RSPB staff and the public could follow their fortunes and movements.
While the pair fledged successfully towards the end of last month, Alba made short work of the journey to their wintering grounds and is now believed to have made the fastest migration of any tagged European osprey.
Richard Thaxton, site manager at RSPB Scotland Loch Garten Osprey Centre, said: “It is astonishing that in just a fortnight, Alba has travelled from Loch Garten in Strathspey to southern Mauritania close to the border with Senegal. Other tagged birds have taken months to do this! It is all the more remarkable when you think that this is her first migration, with sea crossings to contend with and all sorts of weather. It’s good to know she has arrived there safely.”
To find out more visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/lochgarten/blog.aspx
· The young ospreys were named by local school children. Caledonia and Alba were once the Roman and Gaelic names for Scotland
· The first chick (Caledonia) hatched on 17th of May, Alba followed on the 18th of May.
· For more on Loch Garten and its ospreys visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/tracking/lochgartenospreys/
· Once widespread, ospreys became extinct in Scotland in 1916, in 1954 a pair nested at Loch Garten. Since 1959, ospreys have arrived every year – raising more than 80 young.
· More than two million people have visited RSPB Scotland’s Loch Garten Osprey Centre over fifty years, including almost 36,000 last year. The Osprey Centre is open daily from 10am to 6pm until the end of August.