Mystery solved

Osprey Flamme KF6 with just metal ring

At last we know the identity of our “mystery male” living on the French side of the Doubs River, thanks to the perseverance and exceptional photos of Didier Pépin (see one of them above).

And the solution is … Flamme (in the past known also as KF6), as the code of his metal ring could finally be read! Born in Norway in 2017, he was released in Switzerland on August 2, and migrated on the 28th. Since then he had been spotted three times: once on August 3, 2019 by Solène Carboni and Christian Bulle (see photo) in the French Department of Doubs, and twice in February and March 2020, in his wintering grounds in the Gambia (when he hadn’t yet lost his blue plastic ring). We now know for sure that he is a male, and that he is currently busy building a nest of his own… a few km away from the two platforms built for him last month. So far he hasn’t found a female, but he seems determined and we have high hopes for him.

Since his “re-discovery” last year (with only a metal ring) by Cathy Poimboeuf, Flamme has been carefully monitored by a super-motivated team committed to ensuring that he is not disturbed. While we would have liked him to return to Switzerland, we are obviously delighted that he is thriving nearby. He clearly enjoys French food – as don’t we all?

The story of Flamme makes us think that some of our other males may be living quietly in areas which are rarely visited, possibly even several tens of kms away from the reintroduction site. Will the next “Osprey mornings”, scheduled for May 29 and June 19, help us discover new territories? Everyone (with binoculars) interested and available to participate on either of these days is of course welcome to sign up here.