Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Osprey Live A Long Time.

Osprey 788-20124 was banded on July 6, 1992 as a fledgling in Assawoman Bay, Maryland. Assawoman Bay is the coastal bay which lies between Ocean City, MD and the mainland; it is approximately 116 miles northeast of First Landing State Park. This is the initial re-sighting of this bird since David Bricker banded her. She is also the oldest Osprey of the many banded by Mr. Bricker for the State of Maryland during the 1980s and early 1990s ever to be re-sighted. Finally, it is possible, even likely, that 788-20124 nested at First Landing during 2005 and 2006, as the seasonal CVWO bander during those years noticed a banded Osprey using a nest in the immediate area of the present nest tree.
Trevor Lloyd-Evans of Manomet Center for Conservation Science,, graciously undertook some research on Osprey longevity. Trevor reports:
A nice old Osprey, but they do live a long time.  The Chesapeake
populations of the 1980's did not start breeding until 5-7 yrs. old
(Spitzer in Poole 1989). Oldest bird was 25 as of 2001; in MI 12% of
males and 9% of females were 12 or older (Postupalsky 1989). Swedish
birds are a bit longer-lived because of reduced mortality (Eriksson and
Wallin 1994).

Note that the names and and dates in parentheses refer to the authors of scientific papers and the year of their publication. In any event, the nesting cycle for 788-20124 has begun anew. Her mate has brought many sticks to the nest this week for nest improvement. The sticks have been moved about and placed here and there by 788-20124. Fish have been consumed daily, mostly Bluefish of the one pound plus class. Eggs should be forthcoming shortly. For now, much time is spent snoozing and preening on the nest tree or neighboring perches depending upon wind, sun and air temperature.

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