Volunteer for Osprey Nation in 2017

Preparing an Osprey nest platform in Guilford. Photo courtesy of Maureen Phillips.

With hundreds of Ospreys soon to arrive back in Connecticut, we are making preparations for our 2017 Osprey Nation season. We have:

  • activated our Osprey Cam
  • started a recruitment drive for new stewards
  • releases our report on the 2016 season.

The report’s main author is Genevieve Nuttall, our Osprey Nation coordinator. You’ll want to read the whole thing but, to start, here’s an excerpt of the executive summary. It explains why we’re recruiting new stewards: both the program and the Osprey population are booming, and we need help to keep up:

In each of the three years of Osprey Nation, we have observed more active nests and fledglings due to the increasing citizen science efforts. These numbers tell us that the Osprey population continues to grow in Connecticut.

Since 2014, we have added over 200 nest locations to the Osprey Nation map. In 2016, there were 337 active nests and 490 total fledglings observed in the state, which are record numbers in the dataset. We have seen Osprey occupy new nesting sites that are further inland than their historical range along the coast of Connecticut. In 2016, Osprey Nation stewards reported new nest locations in many towns, especially those in the southern part the state such as Madison and Guilford.  The trend may be due to a combination of an expanding availability of nesting platforms and abundant food sources throughout the state. This pattern indicates a healthy aquatic environment in Connecticut since Osprey eat only fish and therefore rely on aquatic ecosystems for food.

The amount of time and expertise needed to be a volunteer steward is relatively small but each steward’s contribution to the Osprey Nation effort is enormous. Volunteers spend about 15 minutes per nest every two weeks observing, taking notes and sending in data.

Please visit our 2017 Osprey Nation page for a quick primer (and for a look at a slide show of our stewards’ photographs). Then, to learn more, please email osprey@ctaudubon.org.

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