Article Posted: March 23, 206

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Male bird is half of a pair that nested at Alum Creek Reservoir last summer

COLUMBUS, OH - A male osprey, whose yearly migration patterns are being monitored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, began flying northward from his South American wintering grounds last week. The bird is half of a pair that successfully raised three chicks in a nest at Alum Creek Reservoir in Delaware County last summer.

On March 7, the male osprey began flying north from an area along the Amazon River, about 50 miles northwest of Tefe, Brazil. He has covered nearly 700 miles since then, passing near the city of Coronadena, Venezuela on March 12. To date, the female of this monitored pair remains at her wintering area 19 miles east of Tabatinga, Brazil.

In summer 2005, biologists with the Division of Wildlife attached satellite transmitters to the two adult osprey. The transmitters have allowed the biologists to track the birds’ movements. After leaving the Alum Creek area in September, the birds covered more than 3,500 miles over the course of one month, both ending their migration for the winter in Brazil. Although they left Central Ohio nearly a week apart in the fall, at the end of their migration they were within 300 miles of each other along the Amazon River.

The Division of Wildlife began reintroducing osprey to the state in 1996, releasing 32 birds that year. Prior to reintroduction efforts, the last ospreys known to have hatched in the state were in a nest at Grand Lake St. Marys in 1913. The last known nest in the state, which did not produce any young, was in 1941 at Buckeye Lake.

In 2005, a record 37 osprey pairs produced 62 chicks in Ohio. Ospreys are a state-endangered species.
The white chest and head feathers of the osprey - also known as the fish hawk - are offset by dark brown upper parts, a distinctive dark eye line, as well as brown and white tail bands. These birds of prey are 22 to 25-inches tall and have wingspans of 4.5 to 6 feet. Upon reaching breeding maturity at 3 or 4 years of age, ospreys seek a mate then choose a suitable nesting site along a large inland body of water. A female osprey typically lays two to three eggs and both adults share in rearing of offspring. Ospreys typically keep the same mate and return to the same nest site year after year.

The osprey reintroduction efforts are partially funded by donations to the state income tax check-off program for Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species. Contributions to the fund can be made by checking line 29 on form 1040 or line 20 on EZ form on the 2005 state income tax form. Donations can also be made via the Internet at Click on the red “donate” button on the left side of the page.

Osprey restoration is also funded by sales of the cardinal license plates, which can be purchased through a deputy registrar license outlet, on the Internet at or by calling the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 1-888-PLATES3.

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