For the first time since 1914, a pair of ospreys formed in Switzerland. Launched in 2015, the project to reintroduce this raptor thus takes an important step before the eagerly awaited birth of chicks in Switzerland.
Taurus, a translocated male from Germany and released on the site of the prison of Bellechasse (FR) in 2017, found a female, announced to Keystone-ATS Wendy Strahm, coordinator of the project within the association “Nos Oiseaux “. The osprey couple were observed this summer in the Three Lakes region.
The female, ringed, is 7 years old and comes from Germany. “They spent a month and a half together”, specifies the biologist. The female has already gone on migration and Taurus should follow her in stride. There was no nesting this year, but the pairs formed are generally found the following year on return from migration.
A young osprey collected in Germany before its transfer to Switzerland. [Nos Oiseaux/Wendy Strahm – Keystone]Taurus and his female are therefore eagerly awaited from April 2022 in the Three Lakes region. But the hazards of migration are numerous: 10% of ospreys do not survive. “If all goes well, we hope for chicks for the summer of 2022”, added Wendy Strahm.
Another good news for the osprey reintroduction project: Arthur, a 3-year-old male translocated from Norway and released in Bellechasse in 2018, was observed in Hagneck (BE). He was seen with a female that was too young to nest. Not discouraged however, Arthur multiplied the demonstrations of “sky dance”, a nuptial flight to attract the female.
He also completed a nest built on a platform. “It is very promising for the years to come”, estimates the coordinator of the project within Nos Oiseaux. Between 2015 and 2020, the association searched for around sixty osprey chicks in northern Europe to release them in Switzerland. This method of translocating chicks has already been proven elsewhere in Europe.
The last reproduction of ospreys in Switzerland dates back to 1914. This species, whose wingspan can reach 170 centimeters in adulthood, has disappeared from the Swiss nesting avifauna because of poachers and egg collectors. However, it can still be observed in flight during migration.
ats / vkiss