Osprey Research

Versatile osprey-related research is essential in creating a strong foundation for the species’ conservation. Being few-numbered, the osprey is classified as “near threatened” in the Finnish classification system for endangered species. There are estimated to be 1000 – 1200 osprey pairs nesting in Finland.

The osprey is one of the most studied bird species in our country. Monitoring ospreys started already in 1971. The research is still in progress. Annually circa 200 osprey ringers take part in the project. Nowadays, the research area covers over 700 osprey nests. Osprey research is supervised and co-ordinated by the Finnish Museum of Natural History.

Objectives of Field Research

  • long-term monitoring of the population dynamics
  • annual ringing of osprey nestlings and, in some cases, adult ospreys
  • collection of biometric data
  • filing of data related to nesting trees and haunts
  • collection of unhatched eggs and nestlings found dead (for pollution studies etc)
  • nutrition research
  • satellite tracking the progress of osprey migration

Satellite Tracking of Ospreys

In Finland, since 2001 there are already 17 ospreys equipped with a satellite transmitter. The device enables the real-time tracking of ospreys’ migration duration and routes.

With the satellite transmitters, osprey migration’s progress can be monitored as if one were “Nils Holgersson” and flying on the back of an osprey. In other words, the satellite system enables the collection of precise information about the speed and the resting and food spots of the journey. This would be impossible with just traditional ringing.

Ospreys have been tracked by the Finnish Osprey foundation and the Finnish Museum of Natural History. Professor Pentti Saurola is the scientific leader of the Finnish project on satellite tracking, and he is also responsible for the information on these pages. For more information about satellite tracking, see the Finnish Museum of Natural History’s website: The Satellite Ospreys in Finland

Renko Osprey family: Ilpo, Helena & Birgit (tracked 2014-)
Utsjoki Osprey family: Tero, Seija & Agle (tracked 2014-)
Satellite Osprey Jaska (tracked 2014-)
Satellite Osprey Samuel (tracked 2014-)
Satellite Osprey Heikki
(tracked 2013–)
Satellite Osprey Lalli (tracked 2013–)
Satellite Osprey Ilmari (tracked 2012–)
Satellite Osprey Jukka (tracked 2009–2012)
Satellite Osprey Eikka (tracked 2011)
Satellite Osprey Pete (tracked 2007–2008)
Satellite ospreys 2003 (tracked 2003–2004)
Satellite ospreys 2001 and 2002 (tracked 2001–2006)