Tracking Metro Detroit's Ospreys As They Head South For The Winter
October 23rd, 2013, 7:35 AM
Roger Webber brings WDIV-TV viewers up to date on southeast Michigan's growing flock of ospreys, which migrate from the wetlands of Kensington Metropark and the Detroit River Wildlife Refuge to as far south as Cuba and Venezuela.
The ospreys have left for their annual migration south, but Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan is still able to keep a close eye on the birds.
Three of the raptors are wearing solar powered, one-ounce transmitters.
“One is in Cuba, one is in Venezuela, and another is in Southern Florida near Miami,” Barb Jensen, coordinator for Osprey Watch, tells Webber.
Colored lines on her computer show the precise route of each osprey, plus their daily wanderings in warmer climates.
Ospreys are known as the “ultimate fishers.”
“They can dive up to three feet to capture prey. They are the only raptor that dives into the water,” said Jensen.
Eagles only skim the surface. Both birds were devastated by the chemical DDT, which was banned in 1972. The DNR reintroduced ospreys into Kensington in 1998. Jensen has volunteered from the beginning.
“The goal was 30 pairs by 2020,” said Jensen. “Last year we had 38 pairs in Southeast Michigan alone.”
She could never have imagined that cell phone towers would become an integral part of the birds’ comeback. 32 of the pairs are nesting on top of the towers.