Tracked by satellite
Ospreys ready for long trip south
Dr. Richard “Rob” Bierregaard, a distinguished visiting research professor at the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina, releases a young male osprey, Artoo, with a satellite transmitter. (Courtesy)
Last week, MacLeod and Bierregaard recaptured Art and removed his transmitter. At the same time, they caught two of Art’s chicks — Artoo and Bergen — and affixed the transmitters.
“It turns out that we caught them just in time, as within three days of tagging, Artoo decided it was time to head south,” said MacLeod.
Artoo left the Lakes Region on Aug. 16 and spent his first night near Keene. By the end of the next day he was on the Hudson River, near Albany, N.Y., and on Aug. 18 continued on to western New York and almost into Pennsylvania.
“The mortality rate for first year ospreys is very high, more than 70 percent,” said MacLeod. “They have to make the migration all by themselves and face many hazards along the way, including crossing the Caribbean in hurricane season. Once in South America they have to find a safe winter territory where they can spend the next 18 months before returning north in their third calendar year.”
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center launched the Osprey Track Project in 2011 with financial and logistical support from Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH).
You can follow the journeys of Artoo, Bergen, Weber, Donovan and Mackenzie from your computer. MacLeod authors a blog that provides regular updates and maps showing where each bird is and what lies in store. The blog is at www.nhnature.org/programs/project_ospreytrack/.
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