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Flow is On The Go!
On April 27, Flow, the male Osprey carrying a solar-powered satellite transmitter since August 2014, started to fly west, from his home of the last 20 months in Cuba, toward Havana (approximately 350 miles from where he had been for about 20 months). That took him about 2 days, so he probably stopped and hunted along the way. But from a point about 50 miles west of Havana, he took off on April 29 at about 0630 hrs and went basically due north over the Gulf of Mexico, landing about 25 hours and 500 or so miles later, just east of Tallahassee, FL. Quick math shows he flew that leg at an average speed of about 20 miles an hour without stopping for 25 hours. He also made a bit of a “rookie” mistake, which is understandable being his first trip north. Havana to Key West is only 90 miles and southern mainland FL another 100+ miles. That is the typical Osprey migration route - Cuba to southern FL. Flow kind of missed the first exit north. Flying long distances over water is always a risk but he made it fine. Luckily no storms. He'll learn.
April 30 at 1030 hrs was the last data point we recieved. The transmitter sends the satellite a data point every hour, but the satellite itself only downloads data every 3 days. So Tuesday May 3 we should get the data download from the last 3 days. His pace coming north should be steady but he will need to find places to stop and feed, so he won't average 20 MPH. He traveled over 800 miles in his first 4 days and he has over 1000 miles to go to reach MA, although he could decide to settle south or north of here. I'd say give him 7-10 days.
Once he gets to a point of his liking on the “breeding” grounds, he will likely just spend the summer and early fall scoping things out. He might find a mate and pay “house”; make a nest and practice being a responsible adult. Typically Osprey don't breed until 3-4 years of age. He is also running late, as many osprey pairs are already incubating eggs in our region. Shouldn't be too stressful a summer for him!
One other bit of data…..Dr. Rob Bierregaard reported to me that Flow made one of the latest departures from the wintering grounds by any 2 year old Osprey out of the many he has tracked in this study. And Flow still faces some challenges, because everything he is doing on this migration and once he arrives at his destination, he is doing for the first time. Thus a higher risk of a “mistake”.
Keep your fingers crossed and monitor Flow's progress yourself if you want at:
Nesting Osprey Update
For the past month or so, reports on nesting Osprey have been coming into my inbox art a rapid pace. It was definitely a late start to the nesting season as Osprey arrived late and seem to be still returning to the area. Today it appears there are about 35-40 nesting pairs scattered from East Boston to Salisbury. I am trying to keep the Osprey Nest Map updated more regularly this year, so you can check it out to see where the active nests are:
The disappointing news is that there is no activity on the nest in Essex with the webcam. We have had a handful of Osprey sightings, maybe even an Ethly sighting, and at least twice a male Osprey has brought in new nesting material which raised our hopes, yet it has all be transient activity. This nest is in such a great location and it is ready made for action, so I am confident it will be the home of nesting Osprey in the future. 2016 is getting less likelily with each passing day. However, each year we observe a certain number of nests that become occupied later in the season by "house-keeping" pairs - either younger birds just getting the knack of nesting for the first time, or failed pairs from another nest site that are looking for a fresh start. So I will not be surprised if we still get some activity on the webcam at some point.
We have had some issues with the webcam power cord and have lost the video stream several times, including a stretch starting last Tuesday we are still getting resolved. Basicaly we need to get an electrician to replace a section of the power cord. Hopefully in the next few days. Sorry about this inconvenience
That's it for now. Remember you can always submit an Osprey nest monitoring report for any active nest you see. More data is always welcome. Go to:
Thanks for your interest in Greenbelt's Osprey Program.
Dave Rimmer, Osprey Program Director
82 Eastern Avenue, Essex,
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.