Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Join The Osprey Spy Network!

Research project needs volunteers to locate nests, observe activity there

Since 2012, volunteers have been monitoring osprey nests for OspreyWatch, a project of the College of William & Mary’s Center for Conservation Biology — 1,420 volunteers have reported 4,210 nests in 34 states and seven countries, including Finland, Australia and China.

“This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity for people because ospreys are big and easy to identify,” said Elizabeth Forys, professor of environmental science & biology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, whose students monitor nests in southern Pinellas County. “Anybody can monitor ospreys. You don’t even need binoculars.”

Participation in OspreyWatch is simple: Register on the official website, find a nest, and report nesting activity one to four times a month.

“This species has come back from a decline in the middle of the last century when DDT and other threats plummeted the population,” said Libby Mojica, a raptor biologist at The Center for Conservation Biology. “We’re seeing the population come back to an amazing place right now, but there are little pockets where the species is not doing well. . . 
The news piece doesn't give a URL for OspreyWatch, but through the magic of web search, it only took seconds to find it.

I know where a couple of nests are locally; maybe I'll do it, now that the Ospreys are back.

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