OspreyWatch and OspreyTrak Projects

The Aquarium Bird Department partnered with the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB ), affiliated with the College of William and Mary & Virginia Commonwealth University, to participate in OspreyWatch and OspreyTrak in 2013.

Working with CCB staff, the Aquarium conducted three field trips in the Lynnhaven River area to band osprey, map and monitor nests, and satellite tag two adult males. We were able to trap seven adult osprey and band six with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bands and alpha-numeric color bands. We also attached satellite transmitters to two adult males named Jett and Thurston. In addition, we banded seven osprey chicks and mapped and monitored various osprey nests in the watershed area. All birds were aged, weighed and measured for wing cord and tail length. Other results from the 2013 study included:

  • 62 nests monitored
  • Number of occupied territories was 50
  • Number of active nests was 47
  • Number of successful nests was 39
  • Number of failed nests was 11
  • Number of young produced was 73

Thurston migrated to the east coast of Florida and Jett was unfortunately lost at sea while trying to cross from the Dominican Republic to Columbia in adverse weather conditions. Of the chicks banded, one was later found dead in the nest and another died from injuries sustained in a bald eagle attack.

You can read about the project and the travels of Thurston and Jett at OspreyWatch , Thurston & Jett, and the OspreyTrak Blog.