Finnish Museum of Natural History
Satellite Osprey Pete
In summer 2007, the Finnish Museum of Natural History, the Osprey Foundation, and UPM started to collaborate on a project to monitor the life of a male Osprey with the help of a new generation of Argos-GPS satellite transmitters. Professor Pertti Saurola continues as the scientific leader of the project, and is responsible for what is presented on these pages.
In addition to the goals set for the satellite monitoring of Ospreys in 2001, the project has three new goals:
On 14 July 2007, the team – consisting of Juhani Koivu, representing the Osprey Foundation, Pertti Nikkanen, the person in charge of ringing at the nest in question, and Helmi-Irene and Pertti Saurola who fitted the transmitter – caught male Osprey M-39991, weighing 1,430 g, in Lempäälä near its nest. They fitted it with a satellite transmitter, a solar-powered 30-gram Microwave Argos-GPS. The transmitter was programmed to record its position once an hour between 8 and 19 o’clock during July. From the start of August, the location is recorded every three hours, i.e. eight times per 24 hours. The transmitter stores the positions into its memory and sends a data packet to the Argos satellite every three days. The satellite relays the information to a mainframe in France, where researchers gain access to the data.
Male Osprey M-39991 had been ringed as a nestling eight years earlier, on 7 July 1999 at Valkeakoski, 11 km from his present nest. The Osprey was named Pete after his ringer, Pertti ‘Pete’ Nikkanen. In order to enhance terrain observations, Pete was fitted with a red plastic ring marked CC in white letters. It turned out that Pete’s mate was Osprey female M-35181, weighing 1,800 g and five years older than Pete. She had been ringed as a nestling by Jörgen Palmgren on 17 July in Tammisaari, 158 km south of her present nest. This pair of Ospreys had three nestlings to feed.