Ospreymania

Clem was fascinated by ospreys from the moment she found Quitsa on the beach. There is something about this majestic, powerful bird that attracts enthusiasts. I certainly became one in the course of writing WASHASHORE! Would you like to learn about ospreys, too? Here are some online resources you might like:

Ospreycams and other bird cams on the web. These are webcams placed near nests (installed while the birds are away) so that you can watch migrant birds come home, nest, incubate eggs and watch the chicks hatch and grow IN REAL TIME! All without disturbing the birds. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology runs a great website full of information about birds, with links to amazing nest webcams! Here’s their link. Additional birdcams come online each year in many places around the world! Just Google them up.

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. The Audubon Society operates this nature preserve on Martha’s Vineyard. www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/Sanctuaries/Felix_Neck

Rob Bierregaard is a biologist who has studied the Martha’s Vineyard ospreys for decades. He tracks their migration by radio transmitter, and posts reports on the ospreys’ progress on his fascinating website.

World Osprey Week. (WOW) Your classroom or school can get involved in an international educational collaboration, all focused on the amazing ospreys! This program is operated by the Rutland Osprey Project, a conservation program in the U.K. World Osprey Week 2015 will take place March 23-29. Go ahead and sign up! Their website has an invaluable trove of osprey learning projects for classrooms, and you might even connect by Skype with an osprey school in a far-away place, like the Gambia, or Turks and Caicos! The WOW schools blog is located here.

Ospreyworld. One of the first books I read when I got interested in ospreys was David Gessner’s fascinating THE RETURN OF THE OSPREY, in which he describes a season spent watching ospreys and—especially—waiting to see one dive. He followed that book with SOARING WITH FIDEL, in which he tracks an osprey on migration across two continents. His website, Ospreyworld, has lots of information, links and other cool stuff.

Raptor Centers. There are numerous centers around the country that rescue raptors, support them in the wild, and educate the public about these wild birds. Type in “raptor center” and the name of your state to find one near you.

Osprey photo by Darcy Zimmerman