Ilmari is off!

He’s off! As we near the end of World Osprey Week, our Finnish Osprey, Ilmari, has set-off on his spring migration back to Hämeenlinna in southern Finland.

Professor Pertti Saurola takes up the story…

The latest GPS data showed that Imlari’s spring migration started on the 26th March. In 2013, Ilmari started his spring migration three days later, on the 29th March 2013.

26 March 2014
At 08:00 local time (07:00 GMT), Ilmari was still at his winter home in Cameroon. The fix at 10 o’clock showed that Ilmari had gone nine kilometres to the north-east of his roost. At the time of the fix Ilmari was not in flight, however, so apparently he was still eating his morning fish before setting out. During the next two hours, Ilmari progressed 62 kilometres, and flew by the city of Kumba exactly at noon. Ilmari settled down for the night at 18 o’clock inside the Mawne River Forest Reserve area, some 58 kilometres due west of the city of Bali. During his first day of migration, Ilmari travelled 208 kilometres.

27 March 2014
Ilmari’s morning was very like the previous one.
At 08:00 local time, the fix came from the stopover location, and the fix at 10:00 told us that Ilmari had progressed 16 kilometres, but was stationary at the time of the fix, either eating or waiting for suitable flying weather.

At noon, Ilmari had already crossed the border between Cameroon and Nigeria, and was flying at a speed of 32 kilometres per hour in the Nigerian airspace, 74 kilometres from the location of the previous fix. The following fixes showed that Ilmari had changed his course slightly, from north-northwest to north-northeast. The last fix in this data packet had been made at 16:00, local time. By then, Ilmari had flown over 178 kilometres from his stopover location, so it is likely that he flew a total of a little over 200 kilometres on this migration day. We are expecting the next data on Ilmari’s migration in three days’ time. Check back for an update then!

We are very grateful to Pertti Saurola, the Osprey Foundation and and the Finnish Museum of Natural History for allowing us to include Ilmari in World Osprey Week.

Ilmari is on his way home to Finland. By the afternoon of 27th March he was flying north through Nigeria.

Ilmari is on his way home to Finland. By the afternoon of 27th March he was flying north through Nigeria.

Meanwhile, over the other side of the Atlantic, Donovan is getting closer to home, as Iain MacLeod from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center reports…

The latest data shows that Donovan took a day off to refuel in Georgia, but moved a little further north into South Carolina. His late-day Argos points suggest that he was nearly into North Carolina by 5 pm. He might make it home on Monday! Watch this space!

Donovan is getting closer to home

Donovan is getting closer to home

To see the latest locations of Ilmari, Donovan and all the other World Osprey Week Ospreys, check out our interactive map.