By Iain MacLeod
Four of five closely watched satellite-tagged New Hampshire Ospreys have crossed the Caribbean and reached South America. Researchers and educators from Squam Lakes Natural Science Center have been following the large, fish-eating birds since they were fitted with light-weight, GPS-enabled, solar powered transmitter backpacks earlier this year.
Two of the birds – brothers Artoo and Bergen -- are the sons of Art, the adult male Osprey that was followed in 2012 on his amazing 5,000 mile journey from his winter home in Brazil to his nest in Bridgewater. Art was recaptured in August by Science Center Executive Director Iain MacLeod and his research partner Dr. Rob Bierregaard, and relieved of his transmitter which he had carried for 14,000 miles. That transmitter was placed on his son Artoo.
A third youngster, named Weber, left her nest in Hampton Harbor on September 6 and made an uninterrupted flight down to the Dominican Republic and crossed over the Venezuela on September 27. Sadly, she only lasted a little more than 24 hours in Venezuela before her signal stopped moving and researchers assume she died.
The fifth tagged Osprey, an adult male named Mackenzie, died before leaving New Hampshire on the shore of Head Pond in Berlin – likely the victim of a Great Horned Owl or Goshawk attack. MacLeod recovered his remains in early October.
You can follow the continuing journeys of Artoo, Bergen, and Donovan online. MacLeod authors a blog which provides regular updates and maps showing where each bird is and what lies in store. The blog is at http://www.nhnature.org/programs/project_ospreytrack/.
MacLeod also authors an up-to-the-minute Twitter feed @OspreyNH.