Finnish Museum of Natural History
Autumn 2009 migration of Jukka the Osprey
Jukka's migration route:
NB! All times are given in GMT. The difference to e.g. Finland is –2 hours and Finnish summer time –3 hours. The readings are marked on the Google Earth map in order (P1, etc.)
At 7 o'clock, Jukka was still in Mallasvesi (P1). Surprisingly, we did not receive any more readings during daylight that day, in spite of the excellent reliability of the transmitter described above. However, at 19 that night, Jukka was in northern Estonia, some 17 km southwest of the town of Rakvere (P2-P4).
Again, the daylight readings failed. It was not until 22 o'clock that Jukka was discovered in Lithuania, 24 km west-southwest of the Ingalina nuclear plant (P5-P8).
Having covered 100 km (P9-P10), Jukka spent the night still in Lithuania, in an area 35 km south-southeast of Vilnius (P11-P16).
The transmitter continued malfunctioning. After 4 o'clock in the morning, the following reading was not received until 19 o'clock. At that time, Jukka had settled for the night in Belarus, 153 km due west of Minsk (P17-P19).
The same pattern was repeated; the readings did not arrive until nightfall. Jukka had only progressed 76 km and was still in Belarus, 193 km west-southwest of Minsk. (P20–P22).
After 4 o'clock, we did not receive a single reading for 48 hours!
The reading at 4 o'clock revealed that Jukka had spent at least this night, and stayed all day near the pools of a Polish fish farm, 404 km from where he was previously spotted in Belarus (P23-P26).
Jukka stayed on in the same area with its obviously good fishing waters (P27-P40). Now, we also received readings during daylight (P34-P37 and P39-P40).
The satellite found Jukka at the fish farm each day of this period. The last reading so far arrived on the 9th at 7 o'clock.
Jukka survived nine days of gluttony at the Polish fish farm! The morning locations are missing so far, but at 13 o'clock the signal showed us that Jukka was flying in the Bosnia-Herzegovina mountains, 14 km west-southwest of Zenica, at an elevation of 619 metres and an occasional speed of 43 km/h (P58). He spent his night 60 km from the coast, 76 km west-southwest of Sarajevo (P59-P60).
After the signals (P62-P63) received in the early morning from Jukka's overnight location, we did not receive any other readings this day.
The fixes at 01, 04 and 04 o’clock show that Jukka had crossed the Adriatic Sea the previous day, and had stayed the night near Castel del Monte, 23 km from the east coast of Italy (P64-P66). At 10 o'clock, Jukka was flying 20 km west of his overnight location (P67), but then he turned south-southeast (P68). He settled down for the night after covering 109 km during the day. He stopped 23 km from the Taranto Gulf, 63 km west of the town of Taranto (P69-P71).
His sleep did not last long, though; at 01 o'clock, Jukka had already taken off (P72). According to the satellite data, he was flying 2.8 km from his overnight location, at an elevation of 330 m and a speed of 33 km/h on course 131, i.e. southeast. Three hours later, Jukka had advanced as much as 211 km nearly south, and was flying at 347 m over the sea, 54 km/h (P73). During the two following three-hour periods, he had covered 193 km (P74) and 181 km (P75), respectively. In other words, Jukka had covered 585 km in nine hours at average speed of 65 km/h. The speed the satellite measured at 7 o'clock was 85 km/h, but only 23 km/h at 10 o'clock. At 10 o'clock, Jukka was over the middle of the Mediterranean, some 400-450 km from the coast of Africa.
The rest of this day's GPS fixes have not arrived so far. However, we did receive a fix based on the traditional Doppler technique, with the Argos accuracy classification '0'. It showed that Jukka had reached the coast of Libya by 20:37. With the data available, exactly when Jukka reached the coast remains a mystery. If Jukka had advanced during the 450-km final stint as quickly after 10 o'clock as the initial stint, he would have reached the coast around 17 o'clock. In any case, it is certain that Jukka flew 1,035 km in one go.
Since Pete the Osprey, in autumn 2007, continued a flight all through the night after setting out in the morning, we have had clear evidence of Osprey night migrations. In Jukka's case, though, we were surprised because he chose to start his Mediterranean crossing in the middle of the night!
All in all, Jukka's autumn migration from Pälkäne to the north coast of Libya took 20 days and covered some 3,600 km. The migration advanced at a total average speed of 180 km per 24h. If we subtract the 8-day stay in Poland, the advance during migrating days averages 300 km per day.
At 7 o'clock, the GPS placement confirmed that Jukka had spent the night at the Libyan coast, 68 km southeast of the town of Surt (P76). At 10-16 o’clock, Jukka flew southwest (P77-P79) and spent the night 263 km from his previous overnight location (P80-P83).
During the day, Jukka flew 150 km, first to the southeast (P85) and later to the east-southeast (P86). He stayed overnight 290 south of Surt (P87-P92).
At 7 o'clock, the signal was still received from the stopover place. At 13, Jukka had already flown 200 km to the south-southwest (P93). After that, he travelled 79 more kilometres to the south-southeast, and then settled for the night by a riverbed in the middle of the desert (P94-P95).
During this day, Jukka advanced in a slightly winding pattern, probably following the topography of the terrain; at 13 o'clock, Jukka was flying at an elevation of 1,499 m and a speed of 39 km per hour (P98). All in all, he covered 203 km to reach his new stopover place (P99-P101).
At 8 o'clock, Jukka had apparently just set out, since he had advanced only 8 km from his overnight location (P102). Jukka crossed the Libya - Niger border at noon and continued 356 km until he stopped for the night (P105-P109). At 14 o'clock, Jukka was flying at 1,949 km, and the speed registered by the satellite was 59 km per hour (P104).
At 8 and 11, the signals showed that Jukka was flying at c. 800 metres. The occasional speeds measured by the satellite were 31 and 48 km/h, respectively (P110 and P111). He roosted literally 'in the middle of nowhere' again, 177 km from the previous stopover.
At 8 o'clock, Jukka was still at his overnight location (P116). Today, he only covered 99 kilometres over the endless sand desert of Ténéré (P118-P119).
The following signal after the 5 o'clock one (P120) did not arrive until at 17 o'clock, from his stopover place (P121-P125) at the end of a 177-km flight.
At 5 o'clock, Jukka was still at his overnight location (P125). Between 8 and 14 o'clock, he flew 298 km, i.e. with average speed of 50 km per hour. According to the satellite fixes, his occasional speed at 8, 11 and 14 o'clock were 59, 62, and 43 km per hour, respectively, which fits well with the average speed. At 14, Jukka was flying at 1,328 m (P128). At 17 o'clock, Jukka stopped for the night at 51 km north-northeast of the city of Zinder (P129-P133). This day's leg of the journey was 467 km long.
After flying southwest for a week, Jukka unexpectedly now turned south (P134) and then southeast! At noon, Jukka was flying at some 1,400 m and crossed the border between Niger and Nigeria (P135-P136). After covering 229 km this day, he settled for the night at the Katagum river (P137-P141).
Jukka seems to have gone fishing at Katagum in the morning, since he was still 70 metres from his overnight location at 8 o'clock, and 35 metres from the river (P142). During this day, he travelled 246 km (P142-P149). At his highest elevation, he was flying at around one thousand metres.
Today, Jukka travelled 207 km south-southeast, and in the evening he crossed the border between Nigeria and Cameroon over the Mandara mountains. At 8 and 11, Jukka was flying at 512 and 590 metres, respectively (P150-P151), but at 1,512 metres at around 14 o'clock (P152). According to Google Earth, he roosted at a small creek bed at an elevation of 445 metres (P153).
In the middle of the night, the readings surprisingly came 2.5 km southeast of the early evening's fixes (P155-P156), and by 5 o'clock, Jukka was flying at 562 metres and 50 km per hour towards the southeast (P157)! At 8, 11, and 14 o'clock, Jukka was still flying, at speeds of 57, 29, and 42 km per hour, respectively (P158-P161). At 17 o'clock, Jukka stopped for the night after flying 160 km. He stayed at the delta of the river running into the southeast corner of the Lagdo reservoir (P161-P163).
All the fixes of this period came from the southeast bend of Lagdo (P164–P201). Maybe Jukka has reached his wintering location?