CBF Osprey Tracking Project

The osprey, often referred to as "fish hawk," is an iconic bird that requires a clean environment and abundant food source—primarily menhaden and other fish. CBF's Osprey Tracking Project allows students and teachers to track birds—ones they have seen during field experiences at CBF's Port Isobel Island or Arthur Sherwood education centers—from their home and classroom computers.

Bird-Handling Disclaimer: The people you see handling these birds are highly trained professionals and possess the permits required to do so. CBF does not encourage anyone to handle wild osprey or wild birds of any kind.

Our map is loading...Please be patient...these birds are very active so it may take a minute or so to download all their travel data........still no map? Click here to reload

 

Osprey Update

MAINTENANCE NOTICE: On Friday, 12 September 2014, Microwave Telemetry's GSM data processing service will be upgraded. Data collection will be halted until the improvements are completed. Normal operation should resume on Saturday, 13 September 2014. These upgrades will provide better service reliability.

09.12.14 - Woody's made it to southern Florida.

09.10.14 - Crabby's made it to Venezuela! Wonder if he'll go any farther.

09.06.14 - Woody is on his way to winter vacation.

08.30.14 - Crabby has arrived in Florida.

08.26.14 - As fall approaches the air gets crisper and the days shorter. But our telltale sign that summer is over is when the osprey head south. Crabby is the first of our foursome to head for warmer climes.

HOW TO USE THIS MAP

This map automatically zooms to a level that will show all of the data points currently available for the birds' travels. As the birds fly farther the territory shown will increase.

Below the map key you will find links specifically to a map of Woody's territory (Arthur Sherwood Education Center) and a map of Quinn and Nick's territory (Port Isobel Island Education Center).

About the Data: GSM data for these birds is recorded every few minutes. To download a spreadsheet of the GSM data, use the links in the map key.

Navigate: Click and drag the map to pan or use the arrow toggle in the upper left corner.

Zoom: Drag the zoom slider up or down to zoom in or out incrementally. Double-click a location to zoom in on that location.

Layers: Select the Map or Satellite layer to change the view. When you mouse over the Satellite button an option will appear to show Labels (location and road names).

To view data for a particular bird:
1. Find the colored trail associated with the bird you want to follow.
2. Click on the colored track. You will see a black-outlined circle appear at the closest location with recorded data.
3. Click on the circle for an information bubble showing the bird's name, date, time, and latitude and longitude recorded at that time. You will also see the date change in the calendar at the top center of the map.
4. Click and drag the circle to see data for other locations on the trail.

As a rule of thumb, use the map to gain a general understanding of the birds' activities, and download the GSM data for specifics.

MEET OUR BIRDS

Woody - Osprey Tracking ProjectWoody

Location: Whitehall Bay, Annapolis, Maryland

CBF Education Center: Arthur Sherwood

About Woody: When Woody isn't fishing for menhaden found over the local oyster reefs he often fishes in the creeks off Whitehall Bay. He has a penchant for building very tall, sturdy nests.

Nick - Osprey Tracking ProjectNick

Location: Tangier Sound, Virginia

CBF Education Center: Port Isobel Island

About Nick: We caught Nick in the nick of time (hence, the name), just as our tagging team was headed off the island for the day. Nick returned to his nest just as they were preparing to leave.

Quinn - Osprey Tracking ProjectQuin

Location: Tangier Sound, Virginia

CBF Education Center: Port Isobel Island

About Quin: We consider Quinn our "lucky" bird. While waiting for him to return to his nest our staff found an arrowhead that likely dates back to the local Quinnipiac tribe who inhabited the region hundreds of years ago.

In April 2014, Microwave Telemetry tagged another osprey on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Although her nesting site is not connected to a CBF education center, her path may cross with Woody.

Crabby  Photo by Lance JordanCrabby

Location: Crab Alley Bay, Kent Island, Maryland

About Crabby: Crabby is a young female, probably between three and four years old. She was named for her temperment as well as the location of the nest she took over when she saw two unguarded eggs.

Photo credits: Lance Jordan

Logo: Microwave Telemetry, Inc.Special thanks to the team at Microwave Telemetry, Inc. and for the technical support provided by Rob Bierregard PhD and Bryan Watts PhD, without whom this program would not be possible.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Transmitter highlighted on osprey tagged for Osprey Tracking Project. Photo by CBF StaffCBF's Osprey Tracking project started when conservation-minded Microwave Telemetry, Inc. (MTI) offered their services to support our education programs. The company manufactures devices researchers use to track avian and marine species. We first field tested one of the portable tracking units when two CBF staffers circumnavigated the Chesapeake Bay watershed by bike.  After a few more technological advances, it was possible to create this site, where students and teachers can follow the daily feeding patterns and seasonal migrations of osprey. 

After migrating to Central and South America for the winter months, ospreys return to the same nest sites on creeks, rivers, and shorelines of the Chesapeake Bay every year. Once they arrive they may travel many miles a day in search of supplies for their nest and fish for their young. With the Osprey Tracking Program, we can now track birds that CBF field program participants see while they are boating, canoeing, or exploring at our Meredith Creek location and the Port Isobel Island education center.

Rob releases the first osprey.The criteria for choosing the birds were that they be male, reside in an accessible nest, and that the nest be close to student field programs operated daily by CBF.  The location was critical so that students on field experiences could see the birds in the wild, discuss their habits, and then follow them online once back in the classroom. Teachers can use the maps to integrate technology with biological concepts such as migration, habitat, and food  sources and to infuse STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles such as communication and collaboration into group activities. A lesson plan about ospreys provides teachers with further classroom material.

The Osprey Tracking Program provides a great tool students can use to stay connected with the Chesapeake Bay long after their amazing day in the field with CBF.

Photos from left: The transmitter is highlighted on this recently tagged osprey;  Rob Bierregard releases one of the osprey. CBF's Port Isobel Island education center can be seen in the background. Photos by John Rodenhausen/CBF Staff

Teachers

Whether Woody flew over the boat at Meredith Creek or you saw Nick fishing while you were on the dock at Port Isobel, you are hooked. These birds have captured your interest and you want to learn more. Now that you're back in the classroom, osprey are an ideal species to study as a follow-up to a CBF field experience since they depend on a healthy Bay watershed. Their habitat, food, and overall safety depend on our Bay-friendly restoration efforts.

Note: All links will open in a new browser window.

Osprey migration lesson planOsprey Lesson Plan
CBF has developed a lesson plan that specifically ties osprey migration to this Osprey Tracking Program. Show your students how this local, iconic bird and their migration patterns can teach us patterns, math, cultural history, chemistry (the persistence of DDT), and more. Download (PDF)

 

Cover: The Return of the Fish HawkThe Return of the Fish Hawk
The Public Service Company of New Hampshire, Audubon Society of New Hampshire, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department also created an osprey curriculum piece. Download (PDF)

Screen shot: Fieldscope web siteFieldScope
CBF encourages teachers to include lessons about how land use changes the health of your local waterways. In order to connect the osprey you saw in the field with standards-based material in the classroom, introduce your students to National Geographic's FieldScope so they can map and calculate pervious/impervious surfaces, watershed area, and land use. Go to web page

 

Screen shot: Flyways web siteOspreys Flyways Project
Be part of an international effort to track osprey migrations. Schools across the globe are part of the Ospreys Flyways Project and participating in World Osprey Week in March 2014. Go to website

Logo: Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy SystemNOAA Chesapeake Bay Buoy System
Tie the osprey migration data to water quality data from NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System. Access data from multiple points in the Chesapeake to see how water quality and weather affect the birds' feeding and flight patterns. Go to website

Article spread: Osprey Feel the HeatOsprey Feel the Heat
The migratory schedule of osprey is being altered by a new environmental problem: climate change. There are an increasing number of reports of osprey overwintering in the Bay, instead of migrating south to Brazil. Article published in the Spring 2012 issue of CBF's Save the Bay magazine.  Webpage   Magazine


 

Students

Whether Woody flew over the boat at Meredith Creek or you saw Nick fishing while you were on the dock at Port Isobel, you are hooked. These birds have captured your interest and you want to learn more. Now that you're back in the classroom, CBF offers data that you can use for research papers, action project ideas to protect osprey habitat, and fun ways to communicate with others about ospreys around the world.

Note: All links will open in a new browser window.

Hear an Osprey Call


 

Student Wave web pageCBF Student Wave
Preserve and restore the streams and rivers that run through the Bay watershed. These are the lifelines for fish that our osprey feed on during their spring and summer stay with us. CBF's Student Wave website has videos that show you how to do it step-by-step. cbf.org/StudentWave

 

Data landing page for Movebank.com

Migration Tracking Data from Movebank.com
Download tracking data for Nick
Download tracking data for Woody
Download tracking data for Tango
Download tracking data for Quinn

Students construct an osprey tower. Photo by CBF StaffBuild an Osprey Tower
Check out these guides to build your own osprey tower. Please note that you must have permission to put up an osprey tower on private property. (see disclaimer, CBF is not encouraging students to capture and tag osprey) photo attached and below. Go to web page

Screen shot: Flyways web siteOspreys Flyways Project
Be part of an international effort to track osprey migrations. Schools across the globe are part of the Ospreys Flyways Project and participating in World Osprey Week in March 2014. Go to website

Osprey puzzle  http://www.friendsofblackwater.org/ospquiz.htmlOnline Osprey Puzzle
Take a quiz to complete the osprey puzzle. Try it

Logo: Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy SystemNOAA Chesapeake Bay Buoy System
Tie the osprey migration data to water quality data from NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System. Access data from multiple points in the Chesapeake to see how water quality and weather affect the birds' feeding and flight patterns. Go to website

Article spread: Osprey Feel the HeatOsprey Feel the Heat
The migratory schedule of osprey is being altered by a new environmental problem: climate change. There are an increasing number of reports of osprey overwintering in the Bay, instead of migrating south to Brazil. Article published in the Spring 2012 issue of CBF's Save the Bay magazine.  Webpage   Magazine

 

 

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