Nimrod (2008-2011)

Date Caught: 1st September 2008

Nest Location: Moray

BTO Ring Number: Unknown

Colour Ring Number: Red/white 7J

Satellite Radio Number: 84129

Sex: Male

Measurements: Wing 482mm; Tail 215mm



I had ringed Red/white 7J on 5th July 2001in a nest on Forestry Commission land near Rothes, the larger of two chicks, but he was not identified back in Scotland until August 2005.  After many attempts to try to catch a male for satellite tracking, I caught him on the Findhorn Bay saltmarsh on1st September 2008.  As I went to take him from my trap, an RAF Nimrod aircraft flew low over my head as it went in to land at the nearby RAF Kinloss airbase. The ospreys know these planes very well and do not even look up when they are hunting flounders in the bay, even though the massive plane is just a few hundred feet above them. I decided Nimrod would be a good name for him – it conveys the meaning “a mighty hunter”.  He was in excellent condition and was already getting plump with fat for his migration. With the help of Ian Suttie and Moira Hickey, I fitted a 30g Microwave solar transmitter and he then flew off and headed inland.

Annual Movements

In 2008/09, Nimrod wintered in Guinea Bissau, after some very exciting migration flights, and returned in spring 2009 to his nest near Forres.  His mate also returned safely and they reared one chick, with Nimrod fishing regularly in Findhorn Bay.  He wintered in Guinea Bissau again in winter 2009/2010, and returned to his nest in April 2010 to find an intruder, Yellow/black HA.  However, Nimrod easily ousted him, and bred once again with the same mate.  They had one large and one small chick, but the small one died in the bad rains in July, so only one fledged.  Nimrod wintered once again in Guinea Bissau in 2010/2011, making a number of excursions over the border into Guinea.  In 2011 he arrived back late to his nest in Moray, to find that it had been badly damaged by winter storms and needed rebuilding.  He spent a lot of time doing this, but failed to attract a mate and so did not breed.  In July the aerial on his transmitter broke in half, so we are no longer receiving signals from him.  However, we saw him at the nest in August with a new, unringed female, so hopefully he will return again next year and breed successfully.

Spring migration 2011

Spring (yellow) and autumn (red) migrations 2010

Spring (yellow) and autumn (red) migrations 2009

Autumn migration 2008


To view details of Nimrod’s movements click on the relevant link:

Nimrod 2011          |          Nimrod 2010          |         Nimrod 2009       |          Nimrod 2008


 Reproductive History

In 2007, I found Red/white 7J rebuilding an old osprey eyrie in a very tall Douglas fir which had not been used for breeding since 2002.  He built a substantial nest and also attracted a mate, but didn’t breed until 2008, when he returned to this nest.  Since then he has raised five chicks (2008: 3; 2009: 1; 2010: 1; 2011:0).


Photo by D Whitaker

Nimrod in hand after catching