Finnish Museum of Natural History
Spring 2010 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.).
The fix at 8 in the morning still came from Jukka's wintering location at the delta of the river running into the southeast corner of the Lagdo reservoir (P1). At 11, Jukka was already flying at the northern edge of Lagdo at 1,064 metres and at 63 km per hour to the northwest (P2). Three hours later, Jukka was still flying; this time his elevation was 1,284 m and speed 67 km per hour (P3). By 17 o'clock, Jukka had crossed the Nigerian border and stopped for the night (P4-P6). He covered 176 km during his first day of migration.
At 8 o'clock, Jukka was still at his stopover location (P7-P9), but at 11 and 14 o'clock he was in flight at elevations of 937 m and 1,204 m and speeds of 58 km per hour and 53 km per hour (P10-P11). At 17 it was time to settle for the night (P12-P14); this time he had covered 244 km straight.
Today, Jukka was already in flight at 8 (P17), though only 7 km from his stopover location (P15-P16). At 8, his elevation was 439 m and speed only 14 km per hour, so it seems that Jukka was soaring to gain hight. By 11 he was at 818 metres flying at a speed of 69 km per hour (P18), and at 14 at 1,306 m going 27 km per hour (P19), so apparently he was soaring again. After this he crossed the border between Nigeria and Niger. This time Jukka's day was a little longer at the end, too, as he was still flying at 17 o'clock (P20), but only covered a couple of kilometres before reaching his overnight location (P21-P22). Today he flew 337 km.
Jukka was in flight again at 8, 17 km from his roost (P23-P24). Judging from his speed of 20 km per hour, he was soaring to gain hight (P25). At 11, Jukka was already flying towards the northwest at a speed of 77 km per hour and an elevation of 800 m (P26). So far, to the north of Zinder, Jukka had followed his autumn migration route very closely. If Jukka had stayed on his autumn course, he would have had to make a 90-degree turn towards the northeast, to Tripoli and the Mediterranean coast. But this did not happen; instead, Jukka continued towards the northwest at 14 o'clock, at an elevation of 827 m and a speed of 68 km per hour (P27). At 17 o'clock, he had already stopped at his overnight location after a day trip of 443 km (P28-P30).
At 8 o'clock, Jukka was still at his stopover location (P31–P33), but at 11 o'clock he was flying at an elevation of 1,504 m and a speed of 57 km per hour (P34). At 14 o'clock his speed was already 84 km per hour and elevation 1,721 m (P35)! Jukka ended this day by leaving Niger and settled down for roosting on the Algerian side of the border (P36-P38). He covered 375 km this day.
Jukka has set off at a brisk pace, and has progressed 1,575 km in five days, averaging 315 km per day. So far, Jukka has been flying straight to the northwest, which is slightly surprising for crossing the Sahara… Hoping that he is strong enough…
At 2 AM, we still received a reading from Jukka's stopover (P39), but the fixes at five and eight (P40-P41) showed that Jukka had moved eight kilometres to the north during the night - maybe he was frightened by something? At 11, Jukka was flying north at a speed of 30 km per hour and an elevation of 736 m (P42). Three hours later, his elevation was 1,784 m and his speed 76 km per hour (P43). At 17, Jukka was still flying, now at 1,989 m at the south end of the Ahaggar National Park (P44). He stayed the night at an elevation of 1,230 m, 30 km northwest of the Tamanrasset airport (P45-P46). This day’s journey, which headed more or less due north, totalled 355 km.
Jukka spent another restless night, as the readings at two and five o’clock (P47-P48) showed that he had moved one kilometre during the night, and the eight-o'clock fix (P49), when Jukka was still on the ground, was five kilometres from the five-o'clock one. At 11 (P50) and 14 (P51), Jukka was flying north-northeast at elevations of 2,029 m and 1,489 m, and speeds of 66 km per hour and 89 km per hour. We never received the fixes for the afternoon and evening.
Most of the readings for this day did not arrive either. However, we did find out Jukka's overnight location (P52-P53), which was 70 km south of the point where the borders of Algeria, Libya and Tunisia meet. At this point, Jukka would have had only some 450 km to the shores of the Mediterranean by the shortest way.
After the early morning (P54-P55), Jukka had flown 14 km to the north (P56) by 8 o'clock. During this day, Jukka flew a total of 251 km due north, not taking the shortest way to the Mediterranean (P57-P58).
Jukka seemed to follow the border between Algeria and Tunisia towards the north. According to the satellite, he was flying at 8, 11 and 14 o'clock at speeds of 20 km per hour, 20 km per hour, and 31 km per hour, at elevations of 242-304 m (P61-P63). During this day, he covered 433 km before stopping for the night.
From the roost at an elevation of 1,091 m (P64), it was some 200 km to the Mediterranean. At 5, Jukka was already in flight a couple of kilometres from his stopover, at a speed of 33 km per hour and an elevation of 1,105 m, heading to the northeast (P65). By 8, Jukka had progressed 91 km towards Tunis (P66), continuing his flight at a speed of 55 km per hour at an elevation of 804 m. At 11 and 14 (P67 and P68), Jukka was still in the air; his speeds were 29 and 54 km per hour and his elevation 1,243 m and only 154 m. The 14-o'clock reading came from the foot of the Cap Bon peninsula, some 57 km to the east of Tunis. At 17 (i.e. 18 local time), Jukka was flying at an elevation of 37 m and a speed of 44 km per hour over the Mediterranean, six kilometres from the tip of the Cap Bon peninsula (P69). After that we did not receive any more GPS fixes. Between 5 and 17, Jukka progressed 338 km, averaging a speed of 28 km per hour. Since all the speeds transmitted by the satellite were much higher, Jukka must have taken a rest between some fixes.
To the regret of the researchers, there were no GPS fixes in the morning, either, so we did not find out where Jukka spent his night after crossing the sea. Luckily, we at least received a less exact Doppler reading from the south part of the Tyrrhenian Sea, slightly north of Isola di Ustica. This leads us to the conclusion that Jukka must have roosted on the western tip of Sicily, or, more likely, on the islands nearby, which are some 130-140 km from the tip of Cap Bon. The first and only GPS reading of this day was not received until 22 o'clock from Jukka's stopover place in Italy, on the border between Puglia and Basilicata (P70). The Doppler fix at 15:38 showed us that Jukka had already reached his roost in the afternoon. The distance from western Sicily to his roost is some 456 km.
The stopover place is only 37 km from the place where Jukka roosted on 11-12 October during his autumn migration. He has closed the full circle. Last autumn, Jukka covered a total of some 4,288 km from Puglia to Lac de Lagdo. If you compare his autumn and spring routes on the map, it definitely looks like his spring route is much longer. In fact, the difference is only a little more than 100 km, as he covered 4,406 km to get from Lac de Lagdo to Puglia this spring.
Last autumn, Jukka crossed the Mediterranean at its widest point and flew some 879 km over the sea at a stretch. This spring, his crossing was much easier with two parts of some 135 km and 335 km, with a stopover in between. Last autumn, Jukka made his way from the Mediterranean to Lac de Lagdo, covering 3,148 km, a large part of which was flown over Sahara. This spring, his corresponding migration covered 3,800 km. Which route seems safer to a human eye and mind?
Unfortunately, since Jukka has returned to Europe, the satellite transmitters with their weak signals are having a hard time conveying their messages through the thick fog of information invading the airspace. We only received two fixes during this day. They came in the early morning from Jukka's stopover place between Puglia and Basilicata (P71-P72).
The readings for this morning and day finally arrived much later. They show that Jukka had already arrived in Croatia the previous day, in an area 54 km east of Zagreb (P73-P77) and 527 km from his previous stopover in Italy on 3-4 April. Jukka stayed the whole day inside an area of a few kilometres. He seems to have stayed the night near a fish farm (P78-P80).
At 7 o'clock, Jukka was already flying 7 km from his overnight place (P83). At noon, Jukka crossed the Hungarian border and found a suitable little wood to spend the night in, in southern Hungary some 65 km south of the southwestern tip of Lake Balaton (P88). He only covered 93 km this day.
In the early morning, at 7 o'clock, Jukka made a six-kilometre round trip back south (P91) before continuing due north (P92). After 13 o'clock, Jukka's route took him some 50 km west of Budapest (P93). He found a small overnight copse in southern Slovakia, some 100 km east-southeast of Bratislava (P95-P96). If we include his roundtrip in the morning, he flew a total of 227 km during this day.
A good day as far as readings go – all eight programmed GPS fixes were recorded (P97-P104). During this day, Jukka proceeded 288 km to the north-northeast, passing the border between Slovakia and Poland around noon local time (10 GMT) and settling for the night in a location 55 km north-northwest of Krakow (P104). At this stage, Jukka had taken a route some 100 km west of his autumn migration route. This means that the Polish fish farm where Jukka stopped for over a week in the autumn was now 112 km away from his current route.
This day, in turn, was not a good day as far as readings go, since the last fix was received at 10 (GMT) after a flight of only 102 km (P108).
The 7-o'clock reading (P109) this morning came from exactly the same place as the last reading the previous day at 10! It showed that Jukka had stopped for the whole day at the mouth of a river flowing into (or from?) a small lake (or reservoir) between Sielpia Wielka and Sielpia Mala. Apparently he was replenishing his energy stores. (There are many images from the Sielpia Wielka area on the web.)
This was another day when many fixes were never recorded. The last reading of the day arrived at 13 (GMT, by which time Jukka had flown 118 km.
The first reading of this morning did not arrive until 10 o'clock (P112). At that time, Jukka was 15 km southwest of Warsaw and 27 km from the last fix of the previous day. Jukka continued from there 148 km to the northwest. At 16 o'clock, Jukka seems to have been at a fish farm, and settled for the night in a copse a kilometre away (P116-P117).
At 4 in the morning (i.e. 6 local time), Jukka returned to what we think is a fish farm (P118). At 7, Jukka was flying at a speed of 36 km per hour and an elevation of only 150 m (P119) towards the north-northeast.
At this point, Jukka has over 900 km as the bird flies to go to his nest at Pälkäne. It has reportedly been much damaged during the winter. With his current speed, Jukka has four or five days yet to go.
The early morning fix (P112 showed that Jukka had stayed the night 26 km south-southeast of Warsaw. At 10 o'clock, Jukka was flying 15 km to the southwest of Warsaw and 27 km from his stopover (P115). Jukka continued from there 113 km to the north-northwest. At 16 o'clock, Jukka seems to have been at a fish farm (P117), and settled for the night in a copse a kilometre away (P118-P119).
At 4 in the morning (i.e. 6 local time), Jukka returned to what we think is a fish farm (P121). At 7, Jukka was flying at a speed of 36 km per hour and an elevation of only 150 m (P122) towards the north-northeast. At 10 and 13 (P123 and P124), Jukka was still in the air; his speeds were 43 and 29 km per hour and his elevation 1,243 m and 173 m. He stayed the night 34 km due east of Kaliningrad (P125-P128). Jukka advanced 194 km during this day.
Today, Jukka flew straight and low, following the coastal line towards the north over Lithuania and Latvia. According to the fixes (P129-P132) at 4, 7, 10 and 13 o'clock (GMT), Jukka was constantly in the air, flying at occasional speeds of 49, 40, 33, and 44 km per hour. From Kaliningrad to his new stopover place (P133-P135) at the northwest coast of Latvia, Jukka flew 344 km in some 10-11 hours, so he averaged a little more than 30 km per hour.
At 4 o'clock (i.e. at 7 local time), Jukka was still at his roost (P137) 16 km southwest of Kolkata (the name is Livonian), i.e. on the outermost point of the headland butting into the Gulf of Riga on the northwest coast of Latvia. Three hours later, Jukka was flying in the Estonian airspace, exactly above the coastal line of Saaremaa; according to the satellite, he was flying at an elevation of 36 m and a speed of 33 km per hour. At 13 local time (P139), Jukka was flying at the midpoint of Saaremaa, at an elevation of 461 m and speed of 37 km per hour. At 16 o'clock local time (P140), he was in the inlet between the Hiiumaa and Vormsi islands, setting out to cross the Gulf of Finland at an elevation of only 3 m and a speed of 38 km per hour. Jukka reached the Finnish coast at the large Raasepori municipality (P141) at 19 o'clock local time, when he crossed the inlet between Torsö and Degerö at an elevation of 296 m and a speed of 41 km per hour. For the night, Jukka settled roughly a kilometre north of the church of Snappertuna (P142-P143). During this day, Jukka flew 268 kilometres.
From now on, according to the programming of the transmitter, we will receive fixes on Jukka every two hours. At 5 local time (P144), Jukka was still at his roost, but at 11 local time (P147) he was flying west of Karkkila at an elevation of 532 m and speed of 39 km per hour. At 13 o'clock local time (P148), he passed the Tenhola manor nature reserve at the Vanajanselkä lake at an elevation of 229 m and a speed of 58 km per hour, and at 15 o'clock he was at Kangasala, east of the Kaivanto channel, flying 67 km per hour towards the salmon lunch offered by the Pohtiolampi osprey centre that was only 4.8 km away now. Finally, at 17 o'clock local time, the satellite discovered Jukka in the core area of his territory of summer 2009. In fact, Jukka had already passed the heart of his territory around 14 o'clock, before his flight to Pohtiolampi. If we leave out the trip to Pohtiolampi, he travelled 147 km during his last day of migration.
Summary of the spring migration
Jukka spent a total of 23 days and covered 6,836 km this spring, migrating from Lac de Lagdo in Cameroon to Äimälänniemi in Pälkäne. The corresponding numbers for his autumn migration were 33 days and 6,770 km.
Jukka's total average speed this spring was 297 km per day. If we subtract the 24-hour rest in Croatia, his average speed during his travelling days was 310 km per day. His corresponding speeds last autumn were 205 km per day and 282 km per day. In the autumn, Jukka took a nine-day rest at a Polish fish farm.
Since the distance from Äimälä to Lake Lagdo as the crow flies is 'only' 5,902 km, 936 km, or 13.7%, of Jukka's flight this spring was "extra."
During his nesting period, you will occasionally see updates about Jukka under "Fishing in summer 2010."