Belle the Osprey

Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
4,414
Location
CT USA
In 2010, a fledgling osprey was banded and fitted with a radio transmitter. Thought to be a female, he was named Belle. We've since learned he is a male but the name was never changed. By using the data sent by his transmitter, his migration was tracked to the interior of the Brazilian rain forest and return for several seasons. A children's book was even written about his travels. Every year he returns to the area around Martha's Vineyard where he was hatched. In 2017 his transmitter died and he was seen in 2018 but not seen or reported in 2019. Yesterday was a gray day with rain approaching and I thought I saw a stick stuck to the back of a diving osprey. I started getting concerned and in a subsequent dive, saw the X-mitter. Now, this was a first. I know that a decade ago they studied 10 or so but the study seemed to stop within about 5 years. The tracking site had no recent data and I had heard the program had been terminated. Still, I never thought I'd see one with a radio but here he was. Through many photos, I was able to get a partial number off his leg band and sent what I had to several noted osprey researchers I know. The results came back with the info above. The author of the book was thrilled that Belle was seen alive and according to his earlier migration tracks was right where he should have been, just stopping along the way for a fish. While I don't personally condone the attachment, it does not seem to impare his ability to fish or fly. In fact, he nabbed his fish on the second dive where others in the area were taking 4 or more dives to get their meals!
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Sadly, Belle has never taken a mate. Hard to say if the radio has contributed to that or if, like me, he just prefers the solitary life......
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
4,414
Location
CT USA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks everyone. His first southward migration was 1200 miles over open water, which means no stops or rest. Subsequent migrations tracked him closer to land but still amazing that he could cover the 4600 miles in 28 days!
 

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