They Are Coming: Osprey Are on the Move from South America

You can track the progress of three individual birds online

(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The annual migration of osprey from their wintering grounds in South America is now underway, and you can track the movements of three Chesapeake Bay osprey at cbf.org/ospreymap. One of the birds, named Nick, has just started his journey toward Tangier Sound. Tango, who also resides in Tangier Sound and Woody, who will take up residence in Whitehall Bay, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, have not yet signaled their departure.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) Osprey Tracking Project was designed to enhance understanding of this iconic species, and the three birds were chosen because they are frequently seen by students participating in CBF's Education Programs. This technology enables students to see the birds in the wild and study their daily travels from the classroom. 

"Using this tracking technology we can engage students and citizens and help them understand the epic migration and life cycle of these fascinating birds," said Don Baugh, CBF's Vice President for Education. "Not only can we track migration, we can also monitor the daily activities of these birds both here and in South America."

The return of osprey to the Chesapeake Bay, generally in March, is a traditional sign of spring. The Chesapeake Bay has the most concentrated population of osprey in the world, but they can also be found in places as far away as Siberia, the Red Sea, and Canada. While here in the Chesapeake, osprey, also called fish hawks, dine primarily on menhaden.

The tracking devices were donated by Microwave Telemetry, Inc., and were installed by professional ornithologists.

"We are pleased to participate in this effort with CBF, and hope that it will help raise awareness and public support for conservation of our national treasure," said Dr. Lance Jordan, Operations Manager at Microwave Telemetry, Inc.

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Editors' note: Higher resolution photos of the three osprey are available if you have any interest in them.

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