Osprey Erika migrates

Text: Ülo Väli
Photo: Joosep Tuvi
Map: Google Earth
Translation: Liis
Osprey Erika, nesting in Virumaa, is one of our most experienced “back-pack carriers”. The GPS transmitter doesn’t seem to disturb her life and doings – this year we can follow her autumn migration to Africa for the third time.
Riho Männik, Eagle Club’s osprey project coordinator, and Erika in July 2007, moments before releasing Erika with her transmitter.
Erika and her partner brought up three young ospreys this year. This pair is one of the most successfully nesting ospreys in Estonia. Erika’s age is not known; it is possible that several birds have nested in this particular place: the nest has been known to us for 25 years.

As is the custom of female ospreys, Erika left the nest area already before the fledglings were completely independent, and left the care of the offspring to her male partner. The first part of August Erika mainly spent on the northern coast of Virumaa, between Sillamäe and Narva-Jõesuu; from time to time she also went fishing at the banks of river Narva, and visited to see that all was in order in the nest.

Erika left Estonia on August 13, but she didn’t go directly southwards, turning instead south-east towards Russia. After a visit to Kronstadt she stayed overnight near St. Petersburg. She didn’t want to spend more than one night there however (last year she stayed a whole week in the same place), and started instead on a fast journey towards south the next day. In the morning of August 23 Erika had reached Bulgaria; from there we have the latest exact GPS position. According to the somewhat less precise Argos information, in the evening of the same day Erika was already in Turkey, where she also was on August 28. It seems that she has reached her usual stopping place on migration at Lake Marmara. How long Erika stays in Turkey we will see in the nearest future





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