2012-05-04 / Community

Jamaica Bay Osprey TaggedWith GPS Unit


Biologist Bob Kennedy (L.) and Don Riepe (holding bird) place GPS unit on male osprey from the Jamaica Bay Refuge. Biologist Bob Kennedy (L.) and Don Riepe (holding bird) place GPS unit on male osprey from the Jamaica Bay Refuge. The National Park Service, National Parks of NY Harbor Conservancy and the American Littoral Society teamed up to place a GPS unit on one of the nesting ospreys in Jamaica Bay. This will allow the Park Service and public to track the bird’s local movement in the bay and migratory movement during the fall. Ospreys typically leave the northeast and migrate south from mid- September through October.

Biologist Bob Kennedy from New Hampshire came down to help capture the bird and put on the one-ounce, solarpowered unit that will record data every hour during daylight. “It will be important and interesting to understand the bird’s movement in Jamaica Bay, where it’s hunting for fish, and find out where it goes in winter,“ said Don Riepe, director of the Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter.


The osprey banding team (L. to R.) Dave Taft, Coleman P. Burke, Bob Kennedy, Don Riepe and Colleen Sorbera. The osprey banding team (L. to R.) Dave Taft, Coleman P. Burke, Bob Kennedy, Don Riepe and Colleen Sorbera. Another bird that Kennedy banded has spent the last two winters in a remote lake in Colombia. The tracking device will also record the speed, direction and elevation of the bird as it migrates long distances. One can then use Google Earth to see the route the bird is migrating along and exact area where it is roosting. Once an endangered species, osprey populations have made a great comeback thanks to the banning of DDT and the efforts of many biologists like Kennedy. “With assistance from Chris Nadareski of the NYCDEP, we have been banding ospreys and erecting nesting platforms for them for the last 20 years and 15 pairs are currently using them,” added Riepe. The National Parks of NY Harbor Conservancy will have a website up in mid-June where one can track this bird: www.Jamaicabayosprey.org


Bob Kennedy releasing osprey with GPS unit attached. Bob Kennedy releasing osprey with GPS unit attached. For more information about this project, contact Lindsay Burtchell at 212- 668-2776, or email: info@nyharbor parks.org.



NPS Ranger Dave Taft removing hood from osprey before release. NPS Ranger Dave Taft removing hood from osprey before release.

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