Satellite tracking

The foundation has been at the forefront of satellite tracking research since we followed ospreys on migration to West Africa for the first time in 1999. Technology has advanced at a remarkable rate over the intervening years and the most recent transmitters now log the tagged bird’s location, speed, altitude and direction of flight as regularly as once per minute, with an accuracy of a few metres. Our research has predominantly focused on ospreys and golden eagles, but we have tracked a range of other species too, including white-tailed eagle, honey buzzard. merlin, hen harrier, marsh harrier, peregrine, curlew, woodcock, and bar-tailed godwit.

Current satellite tracking – golden eagles

Our golden eagle tracking has provided valuable data since 2007

Satellite tracking of golden eagles has exceeded our expectations – it has shown that many individuals travel widely
and some regularly travel the length and breadth of the Highlands. Some of the best areas for eagles (where there good numbers of hares, grouse and ‘grallochs’ ) are regularly used by a succession of immature eagles. Particularly important are the Monadhliaths, The Ladder Hills and Glenfiddich, eastern Aberdeenshire and the Angus Hills. Often the immatures concentrate where the home-ranges are no longer occupied by breeding adults, frequently a sign of past and present illegal persecution. The other wonderful aspect is the enjoyment and knowledge that people get from following individual golden eagles – it’s how to know a species. It has been particularly exciting to prove that two of our tracked females have gone on to breed successfully. To find out more about our golden eagle tracking, click here.

To check out the latest movements of the birds we are currently tracking, click on their name below:

Roxy, CanispGlobeLoyal,  Calluna, Agnes, Mackay


Current satellite tracking – ospreys

Our osprey satellite tracking has provided an incredible insight into the migrations of ospreys between Scotland the West Africa. In recent years we have used GSM transmitters – which transmit data through the mobile phone network – to follow individual birds in unprecedented detail. We don’t have any birds with active transmitters at present, but we hope to tag more individuals in 2017. To read more about our osprey tracking, click here.

Blue XD fishing at Rothiemurchus (photo by Neil MacGregor)

We tracked osprey Blue XD in incredible detail on three autumn (orange) and two spring (red) migrations using a GSM transmitter