Rothiemurchus (2009-Present)

Ringing Date: 10th August 2009

Nest Location: A18 – Rothiemurchus Estate

BTO Ring Number: 1410637

Colour Ring Number: Blue/white AE

Satellite Radio Number: 84131

Sex: Male

Measurements: Wing 358mm; Tail 162mm

Weight: 1862g

To view details of Rothie’s recent movements click on this  link:  ROTHIEMURCHUS 2012-13


Rothiemurchus was the oldest chick of a brood of three males at nest A18 on Rothiemurchus Estate, near Aviemore.  I ringed him 10th August 2009, one of the latest broods I have ever ringed.   He was in great condition.  We named him Rothiemurchus after the land on which he was hatched; the Grants of Rothiemurchus are and have been very involved in the conservation of ospreys. The ancestors of the present owner, John Grant, did their utmost to protect the ospreys of Lochan Eilein castle in the 19th century, and nowadays the estate continues that tradition, and in addition the Rothiemurchus Fishery provides excellent fishing opportunities for ospreys breeding in Badeonoch and Strathspey, and a great experience for osprey photographers.

The female has nested at this nest since 2001 and has regularly reared two or three early young. Her normal mate was green SM, and in 2008 Simon King featured them in the BBC Programme Springwatch. In 2009 the old male SM failed to return and his mate had to wait until May for a new male to arrive and take his place, hence the reason for the late brood.

Annual Movements

After fledging the nest Rothiemurchus successfully migrated to Africa and spent the winter in Djoudj Bird Reserve, northern Senegal.  In January 2010 he made some flights into Guinea Bissau before settling in Sine Saloum, Senegal.  He obviously found excellent fishing on these marshes and spent the whole year there, with a little exploration into the Gambia.  He remained in the same backwaters of Sine Saloum until May 9th 2011, when he set off on his first migration back to Scotland.  He made excellent time and arrived back in Scotland on June 3rd.  He then proceeded to spend the summer exploring, making repeated excursions back into England and around Scotland, as far north as Caithness.  He demonstrated in the most interesting manner the wandering behaviour of young ospreys, familiarising himself with his surroundings and no doubt discovering potential future nesting and fishing sites.  He spent the last part of the summer in Cumbria, before heading back on his migration in early September.  He spent the winter at last year’s wintering site in the backwaters of the River Gambia in Senegal and is now back in Scotland.  He arrived too late to find a mate so we will have to wait until next year to hopefully see him breed for the first time.

Spring (yellow) and autumn (red) migrations 2011

Autumn migration 2009










To view details of Rothiemurchus’ movements click on the relevant link:  ROTHIEMURCHUS 2012

  Rothiemurchus 2011          |          Rothiemurchus 2010          |         Rothiemurchus 2009  


Reproductive History

Rothiemurchus is not yet old enough to breed.  If he survives, we would expect him to breed when he is 3-5 years old.


Rothiemurchus at ringing time

Rothie in flight showing Blue/white AE colour ring









Rothiemurchus in Djoudj National Park, Senegal. Photo by Jean-Claude Lehoucq

Rothiemurchus in Djoudj National Park, Senegal. Photo by Jean-Claude Lehoucq