Where do Ospreys go in Winter?

February 5, 2011 | Greg Dodge

Although winter is nearly over and many of the birds that have spent the winter in the tropics are either on their way back north, or soon will be, I thought it might be interesting to see where some of them traveled to when they left our part of the world (North America) last fall.

The following link will take you on a trip (several trips, in fact) on the backs of Ospreys from the nest where they were hatched to their winter quarters many miles to the south.

Satellite transmitters attached to the backs of Ospreys allow researchers to follow the birds as they head south. For many of the birds it’s their first flight away from their nest sites into uncharted areas.

Once on the Migration 2010 web page, choose a bird to follow from the list and click on the link. You’ll be able to follow the bird through satellite imagery on its first trip south.

Click on other links to follow other birds from as far back as 2000 and read about the technology which enables researchers, and you, to find out where these birds go and what they do each year as they head south after spending the summer (our summer) in North America.

I just followed Belle, a young Osprey, from her birthplace on Martha’s Vineyard, MA to a Reservoir in the state of Rondonia, Brazil. Belle glided down across the western Atlantic, spent a few days in Haiti then sailed across the Caribbean.

Once on the South American mainland Belle cruised up and over various mountain ranges and across many rivers deep in the Amazonian Rain Forest, exploring rivers, lakes and other potential wintering areas as she sailed along on her odyssey. Belle finally ended up fishing and resting in and around the Samuel Reservoir near Porto Velho, Brazil where she has been since the end of December (2010).

Go ahead, click on the link and fly away.

Have fun!

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