Today’s World Osprey Week Osprey update comes from America where Belle – like Donovan yesterday – has made an amazing night-time flight across the sea.
The previous update, sent by Rob Bierregaard had shown that on 22nd March Belle was on the south side of the Andes in north-west Venezuela. We now know that she passed through the vast mountains that afternoon and continued north towards the Gulf Of Venezuela. By 4pm she was just 10 miles (16km) from the coast. She then turned and headed due west, flying for another two before settling to roost on the shores of Lake Maracaibo.
Belle began migrating again soon after 8am next morning. She flew in a wide arc around the Gulf of Venezuela and by 4pm had crossed into the northern-most part of Colombia. She had already flown 139 miles (224km) but was showing no signs of letting-up. She headed powerfully out to sea.
By 6am next morning she had already flown 284 miles (458km) from the Colombian coast and was more than half way to Haiti, flying north just 7 metres away the waves. Finally, just after 3pm, she made landfall after a remarkable non-stop flight of 474 miles (762km) across the Caribbean Sea. Not content with that, she continued eastwards through Haiti, flying until after midnight before finally settling to rest in a forested river valley 1 mile inland from the coast at Charter. She had flown an incredible 700 miles (11290km) in 36 hours since leaving the shores of Lake Maracaibo at 8am on 23rd.
Next day she resumed her migration at 11am and three hours later was another 26 miles (42km) further east. It will be fascinating to see where she is when the next batch of data comes through.
Belle is now just 260 miles (420km) south of the Turks and Caicos Islands, where students at Providenciales Primary School are learning about Ospreys as part of World Osprey Week. Here’s a photo of them earlier in the week. I wonder how close Belle will get to them as she heads north? Keep your binoculars close at hand guys!
The final of our WOW American Ospreys is North Fork Bob, who has spent the winter beside the Rio Ventuari in Venezuela. The latest satellite data shows that he too has now set off on his migration back to Long Island, New York. Bob left his wintering site just before 10am and by 5pm next day he had flown over 250 miles (405km) north and was roosting near the Rio Apure in northern Venezuela.
We’d love to hear how your school has got involved in World Osprey Week. Why not send us a photo, video, or even an example of some of your students’ work? You can either update it onto your school’s page, or email it by clicking here. We’ll then post it on the website!