A rare migratory bird known as Osprey has flown to Kenya, covering a distance of over 6,948 kilometres or 4,317 miles to land in West Imbo in Bondo, Siaya County. The bird was allegedly spotted by a member of the community on January 20, 2020 and reported to the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) team in Siaya. The bird was caught in a fishing net and seems to have struggled to release itself; It had bruises on the legs but appears healthy despite losing some weight and being dehydrated. The bird’s origin has been established from a refereeing ring on its leg whose details show that it was ringed in Finland (Museum Zool, Helsinki Finland, M-68528).
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), also called sea hawk, river hawk or fish hawk is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm in length and 180 cm across the wings. Despite their size, their bodies are slender, with long, narrow wings and long legs.
Ospreys fly with a marked kink in their wings, making an M-shape. Ospreys are brown above and white below, and overall, they are whiter than most raptors. The wings are mostly white with a prominent dark patch at the wrists. The head is white with a broad brown stripe through the eye. Juveniles have white spots on the back and buffy shading on the breast.
They feed on fish and fly on steady wingbeats and bowed wings or circling high in the sky over relatively shallow water in search for fish. They often hover briefly before diving, feet first, to grab a fish. You can often clearly see an Osprey’s catch in its talons as the bird carries it back to a nest or perch.
Ospreys are mostly found near water bodies: saltmarshes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries, and even coral reefs. Their conspicuous stick nests are placed in the open on poles, channel markers, and dead trees, often over water. Osprey nests are built of sticks and lined with bark, sod, grasses, vines, algae, or flotsam and jetsam. The male usually fetches most of the nesting material, sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past while the female arranges it. After generations of adding to the nest year after year, Ospreys can end up with nests 10 to 13 ft deep and 3 to 6 ft in diameter – easily big enough for a human to sit in.