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The first osprey of the reintroduction program carried out in Urdaibai by Aranzadi Society of Sciences has return to the Reserve.  

p2 urdaibain

P2 Osprey in Urdaibai (2015-20th of May)

p2 anilla

P2 Osprey showing the yellow ring (2015, 21st of May)


Hacking cages in Urdaibai (2013). Outside the young ospreys are waiting for their first fly.

Last Wednesday, a ringed osprey was seen in the marsh of Urdaibai Bird Center by the forest officers of the Council of Biscay. By getting in touch with the techniques of the Urdaibai Bird Center and, thanks to the color and the number printed in the ring, it was confirmed that the saw osprey was a male realised in 2013 due to the reintroduction program carried out in this Reserve of the Biosphere by Aranzadi Society of Science.



The plan consists on collecting around a dozen chicks from Scotland every year, move them to Urdaibai and free them after its acclimatization. During the breeding period the young individuals assimilate that Urdaibai is their place of birth and they develop an strong instinct to return to the Reserve to nest. However, once the ospreys become independent they travel to Sub-Saharan Africa where they stay for two consecutive winters. The mortality rate during these first two years is very high, near to the 80%, due to the multiple dangers related to winter time and, overall, associated to the migration. There have been confirmed deaths due to natural causes as well as deaths produced by electrocutions, hits with aero-generators or entrapments in nets and fishing lines.


West coast of Africa (Senegal)

This event has a huge relevance because it is the first osprey that has been capable of returning from its hibernating place, probably in Senegal, Mali or Guinea Bissau, to the exact place where it was bred by the techniques of the Urdaibai Bird Center two years before. The osprey is not sexually mature until it is three years old, so it is still soon for the project to give the expected result, and this predatory specie starts nesting in Urdaibai. 

Another good news for the project is that another male released in 2013 was photographed by the end of April in a phototrapping station that the FAPAS has in Ribadeo, Asturias. Hopefully, after wandering around the Cantabrian estuary, it will come back to Urdaibai following its instinct, as the males establish their territory near their place of birth, in this case, their adoptive place of birth.


Scotish Higlands 

In the early summer, techniques from the Urdaibai Bird Center will go back to Scotland to collaborate in the extraction of a new litter of individuals and to bring them to Urdaibai. In this way, the probabilities of the individuals to return are higher, and the success of the project is ensured.