NAIROBI – An osprey has arrived in Africa after flying 6,948 kilometres from Finland, the Kenya Wildlife Service reported on Friday.
The unexpected visit has caused a sensation in Kenya.
The eagle landed in the town of Usalu in Siaya County, a western territory which includes part of Lake Victoria, the largest in Africa, and was spotted by resident Walter Oloo, who on Monday alerted the KWS.
The bird of prey was trapped in a fishing net and failed to free itself, so it had bruises around its body, the wildlife conservation service said in a statement.
Despite its long journey, the animal, which was treated on Thursday by the KWS veterinary department, was in a healthy state, although it had lost weight and was dehydrated.
“Our honourable guest from Finland is responding well to the affectionate care of his Kenyan safari at the Raptor Rehabilitation Trust in Nairobi,” KWS spokesman Paul Udoto said on Friday.
Veterinarians will be administering fluids and a proper diet before returning the bird to nature.
The osprey, also known as a fish or sea hawk, is a diurnal bird that feeds on fish and the species can reach up to 180 centimetres wide across the wings.
It can be found on all continents and usually nests near water.
The origin of the bird, which has white and brown feathers, was determined thanks to a ring placed around its leg in Finland.
The identification had the following information about the bird “Museum Zool, Helsinki Finland, www.ring.ac, M- 68528.”
David Ndeereh, head of veterinary services at KWS, said he would share the osprey’s information with the Bird Banding Association of East Africa to get more details about the unexpected visitor.
The sea hawk has caused so much of a sensation that Ndeereh has had a lot of journalists phoning him to do interviews, Udoto said.
“The bird is also stressed and we will not allow any more visits,” the spokesman said.
The KWS has asked the Siaya County Government to strengthen protection in Lake Victoria’s fishing areas, as migratory birds have been sighted in those areas during recent inspections.