It’s a long way to Cameroon

18 October 2012 | This 'n' that

Before takeoff: Ilmari looks slightly annoyed here, as his ankle rings are checked by Harri Koskinen before his release. Photo: Juhani Koivu

An eight-year-old Finnish male, named Ilmari, has emigrated to Africa; on 13 October he was spotted in Cameroon. He set off for the journey on 16 September.

At the beginning of his journey, in Hattula, southern Finland, in August, he weighed 1,370g.

Ilmari is an osprey. The Osprey Foundation (more photos here too) fitted him with a Microwave GPS-Argos satellite transmitter (weighing just 30g and running on solar power). This allows osprey researchers to follow his journeys.

Actually Ilmari hasn’t emigrated – he will return to where he was born, in March 2013. As this is Ilmari’s first recorded migration, his final destination is not known. But one of his countrymen (-birds), carrying a transmitter, Jukka, liked it so much in Cameroon that he spent the winter there. Will Ilmari do the same? Watch this space!

The journeys of Finnish migrating birds are long (in this case, more than 6000 kilometres) and dangerous, so we wish Ilmari safe travel back home as well.

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