Ladies first

Plume (F02) catching a Tench Tinca tinca

Good news about our two females: Mouche (PR4), born in 2016, is breeding for a second consecutive year with AM06 in France (Moselle). If all goes well, their first egg should hatch around May 20. Plume (F02), born in 2018, has returned to Germany (north-eastern Bavaria), to a nest platform about 50 km from where she was photographed last summer. She is with a ringed 4 year old male (BE63) who, according to Daniel Schmidt, formed an « unstable pair » with an unringed female last year – but they didn’t breed. This spring there was a bit of a « ménage à trois », in which it seems that Plume may have gained the upper hand. Apparently there is now a female incubating on the nest, although we are not yet sure which one. While we are waiting to know more, see above a great photo of Plume catching a Tench (Tinca tinca), taken by Markus Nilles and Kakuko Hirose on April 9.

As for our two males back in the Three-Lakes region of Switzerland, Arthur (F12) is treating his fans to a lot of acrobatic flying at Hagneck, even more since a pair of Yellow-legged Gulls have decided to squat the platform we built for him last month. Being just three years old and all by himself, Arthur has not been able to evict them—although he has been trying hard. Taurus (PS7), on the other hand, four years old this year, has been busy carrying clumps of grass and a few branches to two different platforms. As he hasn’t been lucky enough to meet a passing female so far, he needs to persevere and be patient (and us too)! At Urdaibaï in Spain, where a reintroduction took place from 2013 to 2017, a male born in 2013 (named Roy) waited eight years before breeding for the first time this year. He has paired with a three year old female released in 2018 at the Marais d’Orx in France, a little over 100 km away: a good illustration of the value of having two reintroduction projects undertaken (simultaneously or just one after the other) located relatively close together. This first reproduction at Urdaibaï can be followed thanks to a webcam here.