October 1, 2008

Fans Follow Tagged Osprey to Grim End

A tagged osprey making his first migration from Scotland to North Africa headed out into the Atlantic and is believed to have died there.

Deshar, born three months ago at a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds sanctuary, was fitted with a satellite tag, The Scotsman reported.

Richard Thaxton, head of the Loch Garten Visitors Center, said he was saddened by Deshar's fate.

"The satellite data showed, unknown to him of course, that he was heading for the Azores, but he missed the islands and continued on out into mid-Atlantic," he said. "They plunge into the water to catch fish and then take off again; but eventually he ran out of fuel and simply couldn't keep flying."

Deshar took an earlier wrong turn when he began his trip Aug. 21, flying 70 miles over the North Sea instead of south to England.

His older sister, Nethy, is also being tracked. She was reportedly over southern France, perfectly on course for North Africa.

Nethy and Deshar, named after a school near Loch Garten, were the first ospreys to be satellite-tagged for migration. More than 35,000 people have visited the RSPB Web site where they are followed.