So long, and thanks for all the fish

roach fish

The 2018 Osprey season has finally ended, over a month later than in previous years. The last of our 11 birds to leave under her own power was Mystère (F10), one of the most vocal young birds that we have ever had, always having “something to say”. When she took off on September 15, one week after her sister Pistache (F11), the sky was suddenly eerily silent, leaving us just with Mirage (F08).

Many people have been asking after Mirage, following her missed landing on August 8. We are happy to report that she is doing well in her new home at the “Greifvogelstation” (=Raptor Recovery Centre) in Haringsee, Austria. Right after her accident she was brilliantly taken care of at the Centre Ornithologique de Réadaptation at Genthod, returning to Bellechasse on September 4. We had hoped that she would then be strong enough to be released, but as she subsequently lost three primary wing feathers, this was not possible. Fortunately Dr Hans Frey, experienced in keeping Osprey in captivity and having a large aviary at Haringsee, was able to give her a home over the winter, and longer if needed. So after getting the necessary paperwork in order, Mirage flew (in an airplane) on October 25 from Zürich to Vienna, where she was graciously received by the Greifvogelstation.

We warmly thank the volunteers who were involved in taking care of her, and the fishermen who kindly continued until late in the season to provide fish. At Zurich Airport, Ace Pet Movers were very helpful in organising her transport to Vienna. Let’s just hope that in future, all our birds will be able to leave on their own wings!