Thursday, 23 August 2012

Migration time for our ospreys

Migration for ospreys has started now and birds from further up north will be passing through the area on their southward journey to spend winter in Africa, in areas such as Senegal and the Gambia. Here, they will live a colonial existence, fishing in the swamps and languishing in the good weather, to avoid the harsher winters of Scotland.

We had thought that the female osprey from the Tweed Valley main nest had departed already but she made a very brief appearance at the nest on Sunday 19th. Both adult ospreys must spend this time preparing for their migration, by feeding up and getting into prime condition. The young must now fend for themselves, as they are due to make their solo journeys to Africa for the first time. This is a daunting task to embark upon, when so far their lives have proved to be quite idyllic here in the Borders. They have had the luxury of doting parents, they have been well fed, grown up in an undisturbed eyrie and now they are finding their way in the world, to explore this lovely area where they have been raised. They face many hazards and situations that they will have to deal with, as well as finding good food sources along the way.
A lone chick at the eyrie
We hope that good weather assists them for their first migration so that they make a safe crossing over large water bodies and avoid desert landscapes as much as possible.

Once the young ospreys have made one successful journey, the knowledge and experience that they have gained will help them for future passages and they will select their own favoured routes with good stop over sites. The journey can take up to a month to complete before they settle into wintering grounds. The young birds may not return until they are two to three years old and they would be unlikely to breed successfully until at least aged 3 to 4 years old.

Once settled into a nesting territory they can live well into their twenties and make lifelong partnerships.

The main nest birds have been together for nine years and they have remained faithful to each other and to the nesting site. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the osprey pair and also the 10th anniversary of the Osprey Centres, so the Tweed Valley Osprey Partnership of Forestry Commission for Scotland, Kailzie Gardens and RSPB we will be planning a joint celebration event to mark the occasion.

Follow us on Twitter and via the FC Scotland Facebook page for updates on the 10th Anniversary celebration.


  1. Thanks for the update Fantastic to read all this from NZ Safe flight and long life to your ospreys
    Mary H

    1. Tweed Valley Osprey Project24 August 2012 at 14:39

      Glad you enjoy the blog, it's been a great year. Look forward to many more updates and new chicks in 2013!


Please feel free to leave your comments on the blog. We've got a few house rules:
1. We (Forestry Commission Scotland) will review all comments and reserve the right to not publish them at our discretion.
2. There will be a time delay between submission and posting. Comments posted on a Saturday or Sunday won't be moderated until the following Monday.
3. Please make comments appropriate and relevant.
4. If you've a comment or question about Tweed Valley Ospreys , you can e-mail as we might not be able to respond here.
5. We won't publish comments that are abusive, indecent, unlawful or defamatory; published comments may be removed at any time; and individuals are personally liable for the comments they submit.