Category Archives: Latest News

Welcome back King Arthur

Arthur F12 has returned

Every young Osprey has its own character, with some being particularly memorable. Arthur (F12), a male released in 2018, seemed to court disaster from the start. Named after King Arthur due the crown-like design on his head, he was collected from the most difficult nest ever reached by Norwegian Osprey expert Rune Aae.

In Switzerland, where he shared a cage with Roger (F01), Arthur first distinguished himself when he “fell” off a perch twice before jumping back on it – the only time we have ever seen this. When both birds were released on August 1, Roger fledged early in the morning and landed straight onto a nearby nest platform, while Arthur spent nearly the entire day perched on the open cage door. He finally took off in the early evening, landing on an electricity cable where he precariously balanced for 10 minutes before finally perching on a pylon for the night. The next day, rather than collect food at our “fish restaurant” as all young Osprey do, he first tried stealing a fish from another bird but failed.

On August 5, an exceptionally hot day with temperatures reaching 34°, Arthur suddenly landed on the ground at the edge of a small wetland, making no effort to fly away. Fortunately thanks to the small radio transmitter which all our released birds are equipped with, we quickly found him and put him back in the aviary, and two days later he was re-released.

However, on September 1 he got himself into another predicament, somehow managing to get his right foot caught between his tail and the transmitter antenna. While he could fly and even come to feed, he was tangled up for many hours before he was able to free himself. After this last mis-adventure he then migrated on September 4, 2018, which was the last news we had of him until May 14, 2020, when Pierre Béguin discovered  him 13 km from the release site. Considering his past, we would not have guessed that Arthur would be the first bird back from the “class of 2018”. Let’s just hope that his adolescence will be easier than his childhood!

Good timing Mouche!

Roy Dennis with Swiss cow

We were wondering about what to give Roy Dennis for his big birthday today, and think that today’s news might do the trick. Mouche (PR4), translocated from Germany and released in Switzerland in 2016, was looking serious about nesting with AM06 in the French Department of Moselle. Now David Meyer has just informed us that she is incubating! Since the nest is at the top of a tall dead tree we do not know how many eggs there are, so we will probably have to wait until next month for more news. 

The Swiss reintroduction project, which started in 2015 with the translocation of six Osprey chicks from Scotland, has hugely benefited from Roy’s decades of experience and good humoured guidance. Our heartfelt thanks go to him, and we send our best wishes for a wonderful 80th birthday and many more years of conserving Osprey, White-tailed Eagle, and all the other species that he is devoting his life to.

Since Mouche, “our” first known breeding female, is nesting in neighbouring France, let’s hope that a “foreign” female Osprey may return the favour and join one of our single males in Switzerland.