Flow (blue track)

Osprey Satellite Tracking

Osprey tracking device Shown above is the solar-powered satellite transmitter deployed on Osprey. It weighs only one ounce.

In 2013 and 2014, Greenbelt collaborated with leading Osprey researcher Dr. Rob Bierregaard to study Osprey migration using small solar-powered transmitters worn on the backs of juvenile Ospreys. In total, four transmitters have been deployed (2 in 2013 and 2 in 2014) but only one of those Osprey survived - a male named Flow, hatched from the Cox Reservation nest in 2014. Flow migrated as a juvenile to Cuba in 2014 and stayed there until spring 2016, when he migrated north back to Essex County and then back to Cuba in fall 2016. Follow his realtime location on the interactive map above.

Flow flying in Essex with the transmitter
Flow flying in Essex with the transmitter
Photo Courtesy of Debbie Feinman
Blackie after he was fitted with the transmitter
Blackie after he was fitted with the transmitter

The transmitters allow the movements of these juvenile Osprey to be followed as they make there way south along the US coastline and eventually across to the Caribbean Ocean to South America. If they make it (only about 50% of juveniles survive their first migration south), they will remain on their wintering grounds for almost 2 years before they attempt to return north as young adults. These solar-powered transmitters can last for many years and provide valuable data throughout that time.

Dr. Bierregaard has tracked about 50 adult and 50 juvenile Osprey with these transmitters and has unraveled many mysteries about Osprey migration. To learn more, go to: http://www.ospreytrax.com/.

Greenbelt's Research Goals:

  • Better understand the types of habitats and specific areas Osprey are using during their spring and fall migration
  • Protect the summer breeding areas like the Great Marsh in Essex County
  • Understand and protect the Osprey wintering areas as well

Help Us Continue Osprey Conservation

Your support helps fund: