Making Tracks with Ospreys

Making Tracks With Ospreys

Ospreys are the second most widespread raptor in the world — second only to Red-Tailed hawks.  Colloquially known as ospreythe Fish Hawk, Osprey make their annual southbound journey each year starting as early as August.  This fall, Ospreys have been counted again in the thousands migrating through some of the biggest migration stopover points in the country. But where do they go?  For the past several years there is a group in New England, Ospreytrax,  which places geolocators on Ospreys and provides a real time map that tracks the movements of adult and juvenile birds on the east coast.

Transmitters are harnessed to the bird’s back and show the daily movements and patterns of these awesome birds.  Apart from the information gained from these tracked birds, it pretty cool to check in and see where each bird is at the exact moment you go to the site.  Currently they have 24

Osprey with Geolocator harness
(c) Melissa Whitmire 2008

tracked birds – and by mid-October you could see that over half of them were already in South America!  It’s also interesting to see the various routes they take.  Some of them are not successful and you see that as well.  But it’s a good way to see what these big raptors do during migration and how long it takes them to get where they’re going  — some are lingerers, and others seem to be on a quick timetable.

If you are interested in following Ospreys – maybe there is one they have tagged that is from your area.  So, check their website periodically for updates and check out the fabulous sound of the Osprey.