Beginning in the summer of 2010 Craighead Beringia South partnered with Grand Teton National Park to study osprey migration. This study is part of a larger effort by the National Park Service to better understand migration of animals that spend only part of the year in the park.
In the study's first year with the use of satellite transmitters Craighead Beringia South biologists discovered two male osprey who spend the summer in Grand Teton National Park traveled as far as Mexico and Cuba for the winter. These two birds returned to the park in May 2011. A third bird, a juvenile female, migrated to an area near San Antonio, Texas but did not return to the park for summer. A fourth bird set up with satellite transmitter was killed before migration began.
Map of Osprey Migration for 2010/2011. Red indicates their migration to Mexico, Texas and Cuba. Blue shows their return to Grand Teton National Park.
The second year of the study aims to look closer at migration habits of families. In August 2011 two osprey young located at the south end of Grand Teton National Park were tagged and outfitted with a satellite transmitter. The father of these young was also outfitted with a satellite transmitter. The osprey travels will be closely monitored throughout winter in order to better understand how far, when and where these birds travel, along with any threats they come across along the way.
Steve Cain, Grand Teton National Park Senior Wildlife Biologist, sums up the project, "If we want to preserve the biodiversity of the park, we need to be looking beyond the borders and working with a variety of partners and stakeholders to preserve these migrations."
More on the Project:
2011 Fall Migration Maps
Osprey back from Cuba, Mexico - JH News&Guide May 25, 2011
Osprey tagging - JH News&Guide August 10, 2011 Photo from the Article