Osprey fledgling flies 350 km from natal nest in a week

I don’t think anyone ever expected to get a phone call telling them that an Osprey with a yellow band was seen at Port Augusta yesterday.

The question at the time was: is it Star or is it Falky? Falky was last seen on the 12th of January at 19:40.

On 9 January, Falky took a dive off the barge and caught a fish!

On the 10th, Falky and Ervie have their ‘dog fight’ in the air.

On the 8th of January, Bazza knocks Falky into the water. We held our breath as he figured out how to get. Falky’s confidence must have grown when he kept his cool head and recovered instead of drowning.

The two siblings were not so nice to the middle one who kept himself to himself, most days, looking for fish in the water.

Well, Morgan Palmer Dunn took some photographs and sent them to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and guess who it is that is 13 km south of Port Augusta, a distance of almost 350 km?

There he is, the middle hatch, Falky flying like a pro. Our keen eyed observer noticed the young Osprey when a bunch of Silver Gulls began vocalizing.

So, in one week, look how far Falky flew. I am smiling and can’t stop saying ‘incredible’.

What is interesting to me is that everyone was startled when Solly flew up to Streaky Bay and then Eba Anchorage. The thoughts at the time were that this 200 km distance from the natal nest was quite far. With this flight of Falky’s, it is time to start looking for Bazza and maybe Star and DEW further afield!

This is why banding birds is important. Look at the information retrieved by a simple coloured leg band and a very keen observant individual – who took the time to get in touch with Port Lincoln!

Some may be asking if the tracker was put on the wrong bird. At the time of the weighing, the naming, and the banding, Ervie really was the star of the nest. He was the male who weighed the most and got the sat-pak. If you go to Port Lincoln’s FB page and look back, Ervie was quite adventurous. Did something happen to Ervie so that he lost his confidence? is he getting his mojo back as some claim? or was Ervie’s goal all along to be the ‘King of the Nest’. We wait to find out. But for now, raise a glass to Falky. What an incredible young Osprey. May he live a long safe life with always a full belly!

Falky, you really are impressing everyone. You look good. You are obviously catching your own dinner. Be careful out there!

Thank you for joining me! This is simply incredible news.

Thanks to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project streaming cam and FB page where I took my screen captures and video clips.


  1. Akane says:

    I can still see the fish that Falky caught in front of everyone. It was truly amazing. I’m glad Falky is doing well. I was so happy that I cried.
    May all my siblings continue to be safe.

    1. Akane says:

      Thank you so much for the newsletter. I was so excited I forgot to thank you for something important😭.

      1. Your excitement is thanks enough, Akane!!!!!!! It really is amazing. I am so glad that person took the time to take the photos and report the sighting. Otherwise, we would not know. You are always welcome and normally it is my pleasure except when there is sad news. Fingers crossed that someone will see Bazza now.

    2. This is the kind of news we dream of hearing! Tears here, too. Falky is already teaching us so much. What an incredible Osprey! — Yes, they had best get busy covering up all those hydro poles in South Australia. No telling how far these birds travel. I was thinking that just because we don’t see them on the barge, does not mean they are not safe. No one ever imagined that male Ospreys would move this distance from the nest – farther than the females!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Oh Mary Ann! It’s so amazing and I’m so happy it was Falky too! ❤️Of course I wish them all good luck and a great life! I pray Bazza shows up too and we will know he’s doing well🙏❤️ Ervie is King of the Nest! That I think is what he wanted. ❤️
        Thanks so much for making our day special with your newsletter!
        Thanks and take care!
        Have a great afternoon!

      2. Isn’t it just wonderful, Linda! They really need to spread the word for people all over the coast of Australia to look for the other birds. Who knows? They could be in Adelaide or Melbourne!!!!!!!! or further!!!!!! It certainly helps us to understand that even tho we do not see them that does not mean something terrible happened. Falky and Bazza stayed on the barge and amped up their flying and their fishing skills. When they got good at it, they left town!!!!!! At the urging of Ervie who, as you rightfully suggest, simply wanted the nest to himself. Too funny. You are always welcome.

  2. Thanks for this amazing news, Mary Ann! Seems to me that’s quite a distance for any bird, much less a young one. It’s wonderful someone spotted him and was able to get a picture!
    I hope there’ll eventually be more sightings — especially if Ervie ever decides to leave town. (This also gives me hope for other fledglings — ones that we’ll never know how they’re doing, since they weren’t banded.)

    1. That flight of Falky should give everyone hope and they should be scrambling to get eyes on the skies around Australia for the others. Ervie has been flying about today. I think he wants that nest for his own. He could raise a family there one day!!!!!!! They might have put the tracker on the wrong bird but too late now! That distance is really amazing. I know the youngsters fly long distances to migrate in the US but, here we have those great distances in Australia. Very interesting!

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