John Van de Graaff

By VandeGraaff

Osprey Tagged!

We're seeing an Osprey at the moment of his release, after being "tagged" with a transmitter to follow his movements, as part of an extensive research project. The transmitter's antenna projects from the bird's back, and the transmitter itself is the caramel-colored object in front of it.

Releasing the bird is Rob Bierregaard of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. We're at the mouth of the Westport River in Massachusetts, where dozens of Osprey nest each summer; they've been banded since the 1960s. Only last year did tagging with transmitters begin here. I photographed one of those ospreys--dubbed Hudson--with not only his transmitter but also a fish.

Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are found not only in the Americas but also in Europe. They eat fish exclusively, and are sometimes known as fish eagles (the German name is Fischadler). You can follow the Westport osprey project here. It is organized in part under the auspices of Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary--I'll photograph there tomorrow morning again, before heading home

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