Scottish Osprey seen in Barbados


An Osprey photographed in Barbados in early March has been confirmed as a bird from a Scottish ringing scheme.

The bird, wearing a blue ring inscribed 'KW0', was seen by Michael St John in the north of the Caribbean island on 9 March. Mr St John sent his photos to the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, which was able to confirm that KW0 was a Scottish bird and was one of two chicks ringed at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, west of Glasgow, on 23 June 2022 – some 6,600 km away. It later transpired that what was almost certainly the same blue-ringed Osprey had been seen in Barbados on 25 October 2022, meaning that KW0 had presumably wintered on the island.

A blue-ringed juvenile Osprey (not the bird in this image) photographed on Barbados this winter has proven to be a Scottish bird (Jeremy Mcclements).

Ospreys are known for their impressive migrations and some individuals – usually young birds – have been known to turn up in unusual places. For example, satellite-tagged birds have been recorded making long overseas movements, while Ospreys are a regular feature in the Azores in the mid-Atlantic. However, KW0 is thought to be the confirmed example of a UK-born Osprey successfully crossing the Atlantic to the Americas.

Being the easternmost of the Caribbean islands, Barbados is well positioned for vagrants from the Old World being propelled across the Altantic and aided by the trade winds. The island has accrued a long list of exciting transatlantic rarities over the years: the first Little Egret for the Western Hemipshere was recorded here in April 1954 and the species has since colonised the Caribbean. There are also two records of Common Cuckoo (read an account of the 2014 bird here), as well as Black Kite, Eurasian Spoonbill and several Wood Sandpipers, among others.

Find out more about KW0's journey at the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation website.