Osprey in Spain. Source. CMA de la Junta de Andalusia .
More ospreys arrive in Cadiz
Several months after the osprey raised chicks for the first time in 60 years in Los Alcornocales Natural Park, a second pair of wild ospreys has moved into the nearby Barbate reservoir in Cadiz. experts believe the presence of a number of young ospreys from the reintroduction programme (see below) has attracted the new pair.
Osprey breed for first time in mainland Spain for 60 years
Osprey breeds in mainland Spain for the first time in 60 years (Terra)
More osprey chicks for Andalusia
After the success of the first programme See below Ospreys attempt to breed for first time in Mainland Spain for 20 years , new chicks are to be released by hacking in the Marismas del Odiel de Huelva. Six young birds are to be released from Germany and four from Finland. Of the eight chicks released in the Marismas del Odiel since 2003 only has failed to follow its migration path (it wa found dead). An autospy revealed it had been shot.
Ospreys attempt to breed for first time in Mainland Spain for 20 years
The osprey reintroduction project in progress in Huelva and Cadiz appears to be on track. Since 2003, 25 young birds from Germany , Finland and Scotland have been released. Although none of the young birds have nested yet, a pair of adults which wintered at the Barbate reservoir in the Parque Natural Los Alcornocales have built a nest here this spring and laid eggs, which are currently being incubated. If successful it will be the first time ospreys have bred on mainland Spain in 20 years. Experts believe that the appearance of a considerable number of young (and sexually immature) ospreys has encouraged the adult pair to stay and breed, as their presence is seemingly a sign to them that the area is suitable to raise chicks. The eggs should hatch by around the end of April. The possibility of attracting adults to the area was forecast by the reintroduction scheme.
The chicks from the reintroduction project were placed in nest boxes and fed by humans without any visual contact with them, following the hacking method. Hacking takes advantage of philopatry - the natural tendency of birds of prey to return to the area where they were raised to breed once they are sexually mature. Osprey become sexually mature from three years onwards.
The young ospreys released in Andalusia have shown normal migratory behaviour of birds raised in their own nests in the region, and have begun to fly south to areas typical osprey areas. Radio-tracking has detected them on the West African coast along the rivers in Senegal and Gambia . Hopefully they'll be back to breed in three years.
With urban expansion and plummeting water quality from the 1960s onwards, the Osprey had disappeared from mainland Spain and Portugal by 1980's as a breeder, although they have clung on in the Balearics (20 pairs) and the Canaries (12 pairs).The presence of huge expanses of water in Andalusia in the form of reservoirs built since then bodes well for the species future.
Thanks to Kevin Wade for telling me about this.
See also News on Birds in Spain
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