Rare bird flew 6,948KMs from Finland to Kenya, only to die under KWS care


Rare bird flew 6,948KMs from Finland to Kenya, only to die under KWS care
A rare migratory bird known as Osprey upon landing in Kenya. PHOTO | KWS

The rare migratory bird that flew all the way from Finland to Kenya has died under the care of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) veterinarians.

In a statement issued on Monday, KWS said the four-year-old bird of prey known as Osprey died over the weekend at a KWS-licensed Raptor Rehabilitation Centre in Karen.

According to KWS, a post-mortem examination conducted on the bird attributed the death to “long term starvation which precipitated systemic organs failure.”

The raptor bird was rescued last week in Siaya by a member of the community, Walter Oloo, who spotted it on January 20, 2020 and reported to the wildlife body in the area.

It was delivered to the KWS Veterinary Department in Nairobi on January 23, 2020 and was later transferred to the Raptor Rehabilitation centre in Karen.

KWS says: “By the time the bird was delivered to the city, it had been severely dehydrated, weak and emaciated from the long flight and minor injuries while trapped by the fishing net.”

“It weighed 950g against the normal range of 1.3–1.8kgs of an adult osprey,” added KWS.

KWS further says the bird was being fed and treated at the Karen centre with an aim to release it at the exact site it was rescued in the Lake Victoria catchment.

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, and fish hawk is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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