Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘osprey’

Identifying “Bandit” at Pete McLain Osprey Cam Nest

Friday, May 4th, 2018
The Amazing History of a Breeding Adult Male Osprey at Island Beach State Park

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Bandit in flight while carrying nesting material. He has been nesting at the Pete McLain Osprey Cam nest since 2013. photo by Karl Soehnlein.

Around 3% of ospreys who were banded with USGS aluminum bird bands as nestlings in New Jersey are re-sighted after fledging or leaving their nest. Most of those recoveries or resightings are centered around mortality based events where a bird is injured or killed and the band is then close enough to read. Since the numbers on the leg bands are so small, it is often hard to read when they are still alive. However, when enough photos are obtained or a camera is installed on a nest then the likelihood of reading the band on a live bird increases.  (more…)

Osprey 04/D Back in Jersey!

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Barnegat Bay Osprey Returns to New Jersey After Two Year Vacation

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

04/D was photographed in Allendale at the Celery Farm by Barbara Dilger on Monday, April 23.

North American ospreys migrate long distances to and from their breeding and wintering grounds in the southern U.S., Central America, Caribbean Islands, and N. South America. For the past four years we have been banding young ospreys who originate from nests on Barnegat Bay with an auxiliary band to help determine their movements after fledging. Project RedBand was designed to help track the migration, dispersal, life span, and foraging habits of ospreys from Barnegat Bay, a unique estuary along the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey. The project was also designed to help engage the public in osprey management and conservation. Since the red bands are highly visible and readable with optics, it allows the public the ability to identify the individual and then learn about their past. Lastly, we now rely heavily on citizen scientists who report nesting activity on Osprey Watch(more…)

Record Breaking Return of New Jersey Osprey

Monday, April 23rd, 2018
Male osprey makes epic return to nest along Delaware Bay; turns seventeen this summer!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Photographer Brian Kushner has photographed this bird over the past ten years. Just this past week he confirmed his return to his nest by ID’ing him by his band # 0788-45514. Click to view large on Flickr. photo by Brian Kushner.

The spring arrival of the North American osprey (Pandion haliaetus carolinensis) to their nesting grounds in New Jersey was delayed slightly due to prevalent north winds. As we saw many birds begin to arrive to their nest sites, which they return to year after year, we were particularly interested in the return of one very special osprey. This individual, if he survived the winter would be the oldest living osprey ever recorded in New Jersey to be observed on his nesting grounds. Ospreys face many threats and their life span averages around 8-10 years, but some can reach 20 years old.

We would not know how old this bird is without the USGS bird band that was affixed to his left leg before fledging in the summer of 2001. Photographer Brian Kushner, who has been watching this nest for the past 10 years, was able to photograph the band, which allowed us to track down his origins. He was banded on July 5, 2001 before he could fly. The nest was less than 5 miles away from where he currently nests along the Delaware Bayshore. Typically it is very difficult to ID birds by their USGS bird bands, and most recoveries or sightings of bands occurs during an injury or death, but Brian’s been able to use his photography equipment to positively ID this bird. Banding data shows that males return as adults to nest in very close proximity to their natal areas while females tend to wander further away to nest.

Ospreys are currently laying eggs and starting incubation, which occurs right after the first egg is laid. Nests with eggs and young are protected from disturbance during this time, and established nests cannot be removed without consulting with NJ Fish & Wildlife and USDA Wildlife Services. Please refer to our “Living with Ospreys in New Jersey” guidance document for more information.

News 12 New Jersey Highlights CWF’s Osprey Project and Species Recovery

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

On a cool and cloudy Monday morning, CWF Habitat Program Manager, Ben Wurst was joined by News 12 New Jersey reporter, Tony Caputo to highlight the osprey’s triumphant recovery in the Garden State. Ben was working in the field to repair a few osprey nests and complete the first of several nest checks at a nearby peregrine falcon nest. We work tirelessly to ensure that when ospreys return from their wintering areas that their nesting platform are in good condition.

Ospreys have recovered from around 50 nests in the early 1970s to a record 668 nests documented in 2017.

Click on the screenshot above or here to watch online.

Osprey Numbers Surge Above Post-DDT Milestone

Monday, January 22nd, 2018
Statewide Census Documents over 650 nesting pairs in New Jersey

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

An osprey prepares to land on a natural nest. Barnegat Bay, NJ.

Since we began to work more closely with ospreys in 2006, we have documented the population grow beyond the historic population estimate of 350-450 nesting pairs (Henny 1977) to a new historic milestone. In 2017, a total of 668 active nests were recorded during a statewide census of nesting ospreys, which is well above the post-DDT milestone of 500 nesting pairs, and show that the population continues to grow. This is the second census conducted without the use of manned aircraft since 2009 after all known osprey nests were released and mapped online in 2013. Despite the lack of aircraft, we’re still able to obtain an accurate representation of the size and health of the statewide population, while reducing the overall project cost. (more…)

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