A nice young couple has moved into Mid-Michigan. They’ll be eating lots of fish dinners together. A pair of ospreys is setting up housekeeping just south of Davison. They are courting now and there may be baby ospreys in their future.
The reintroduction program of Ospreys to Michigan’s southern Lower Peninsula has been very successful. Barb Jensen, the Michigan Osprey Program Coordinator, tells us their goal was to have 30 nesting pairs by 2020 — and they reached that goal in 2010.
You can see the birds at Kensington Metropark. You don’t need a thousand dollar camera lens to watch these birds, because the excited group known as The Osprey Paparazzi will be glad to let you use theirs.
FOX 2’s Derek Kevra takes us there to get up close and personal with the birds and their fan club.
DTE crews on Jones Ave. are in the process of sinking a utility pole that hopefully will become the new home for a pair of ospreys that built a nest on a light pole at Navarre Field.
Officials from several agencies are overseeing the project that is expected to take several hours to complete. In the end, it is hoped that the birds will accept their new home, which will be across Jones Ave. on a piece of property owned by the City of Monroe.
“There are simply no other options,” said Barb Jensen, director of Michigan Osprey. “We’re giving them the opportunity to raise their young.”
In the 1950s and 1960s, populations of osprey – fish-eating birds of prey – were decimated by the harmful effects of DDT pesticides on breeding success. The Detroit Zoological Society has worked with the volunteer organization Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan, the MDNR and Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA) to help re-establish osprey to southeast Michigan.
DDT wiped out Osprey from Southern Michigan, but a reintroduction program has resulted in over fifty breeding pairs in the region. It is reason to celebrate, but several challenges remain. Listen for more in the September edition of WEMU’s “The Green Room”. By David Fair & Barbara Lucas, WEMU 89.1, September 2014
The comeback of the Osprey in Southern Michigan is a great story! Nearly absent from much of the state due to the effects of DDT and other pesticide use, Southern Michigan’s Osprey population continues to rebound.
Audubon Society of Kalamazoo, September 2014
Scientists in southern Michigan are outfitting ospreys with tiny backpack satellites to study the revitalization of the species. Ospreys are continuing to rebound in Michigan after pesticides and habitat loss threatened their existence.
Associated Press, August 2014
The osprey is making a comeback in southern Michigan, and thanks to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and an assist from satellites, you can watch it first-hand.
Brian Smith, MLive, August 2014
Nearly absent from much of the state due to the effects of DDT and other pesticides and habitat loss, ospreys continue to rebound in Michigan. In southern Michigan, monitoring efforts are tracking the revitalization of this species.This year, six osprey chicks from area nests were outfitted with “backpack” satellite and GSM telemetry units. These units – funded by grants from DTE Energy, Huron Valley Audubon, photographer Lou Waldock, U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and American Tower Corporation – will help scientists track the young birds’ daily movements and seasonal migration patterns.
The Birding Wire, August 2014
Like the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and California condor, the osprey was pushed to the brink of extinction in the mid-20th century due in part to the rising use of DDT as an insecticide. A ban on the toxic substance in the 1970s has resulted in the restoration of many bird of prey populations, giving scientists a second chance to study the creatures and learn how to best protect them.
Alex Card, Environmental Monitor, August 2014
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is monitoring osprey chicks via GPS backpacks in order to learn how to better help the population recover in Michigan. Osprey had nearly disappeared from Michigan due to the effects of DDT and other pesticides and habitat loss, but the trend is reversing.
Matt Millhouse, The River, August 2014
It’s no secret that chemicals like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and other pesticides have done a number on Michigan wildlife. First used as an insecticide in 1939, it wasn’t until 1972 that the harmful effects of DDT was fully understand and the product was banned in the U.S. As a result of extensive DDT use, the osprey population in Southern Michigan was hammered.
Darren Warner, Battle Creek Enquirer, August 2014
Ornithologist Sergej Postupalsky was back on his ladder July 14, retrieving an osprey from a nest on a platform at the Houghton Lake Flats. The bird was to be fitted with a transmitter which will track its movements for the next few years. Postupalsky, 80, was working on the project with its sponsor, Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan (OWSEM), as well as personnel from the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division and the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.
Story and photos by Thomas Reznich, The Houghton Lake Resorter, July 2014
Osprey populations in southeast Michigan have soared in recent years, and the large raptors are beginning to re-establish themselves in northwest Ohio, too
SALEM TOWNSHIP — The pair of ospreys nesting on Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge property have chicks, the first ospreys hatched on refuge land, an official said.A refuge volunteer estimates the three chicks hatched within a few days of each other about three weeks ago at the refuge’s Blausey Unit, said Eddy Pausch, assistant refuge manager at Ottawa National.
Kristina Smith, Port Clinton News Herald, July 2014
In July, volunteers and wildlife officials removed one of three osprey chicks from its nest near DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 Power Plant, a Wildlife at Work certified site, and fitted it with a GPS tracking device. DTE employees Jason Cousino, field safety specialist and wildlife habitat coordinator at River Rouge Power Plant, and Roberta Urbani, environmental planner, were among the volunteers. The Monroe Power Plant, a Wildlife at Work certified site, has pledged to help cover the costs of the transmitter and the data collection.
By Martha Gruelle, Huron to Erie Program Manager, Wildlife Habitat Council, 2013
There are 50 breeding osprey pairs in southern Michigan, up from a single nest some two decades ago. That’s seven years ahead of a goal to have 30 pairs in the area. And the birds are on the move. One of the Michigan birds, named Monroe Spark, recently reached Cuba.
For the first time in Michigan, ospreys were fitted this past summer with transmitters to research where they migrate.
“The word is out for the birders down there to watch for him,” said Barb Jensen, a founding member of the Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan. The group is a volunteer organization whose goals are to help restore osprey to southeast Michigan and to educate the public about the bird.
EVAN KREAGER, Great Lakes Echo, October 2013
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.
Roger Webber, WDIV, Deadline Detroit, October 2013
A local high school had a problem with osprey nesting in the lights on the football field. Instead of shooing the birds away and destroying the nest, they decided to create an alternative home. Marion schools had to clear the football lights of the nest, it could cause a fire.
Eric Lloyd, Reporter, 9 and 10 News, October 2013
On August lst a great blue heron at Kensington Metropark made a near fatal mistake and landed on the osprey nesting platform on Kent Lake. Mistaking the hapless heron for a threatening predator, the resident ospreys mounted a fierce defense of their nest and attacked without hesitation toppling the heron in the water. What is so amazing is this incident was witnessed by birders armed with cameras.
Birders often gather on shore with telephoto lens to watch the osprey raise their young and witnessed and recorded this dramatic encounter between two native and protected predatory bird species. The heron was quickly out of the contest. A call for help went out to nearby Heavner Canoe rental to attempt to rescue the great blue heron floundering in the water. I am grateful Huron-Clinton Metroparks shared Jane Purslow’s amazing photos with me. Thank you!
Earth’s Almanac, Jonathan Schechter, Oakland Press Blogs, August 2013
SOUTHFIELD, MI – Three young, southeast Michigan ospreys were fitted with GPS transmitters in July so state wildlife researchers can learn more about their travel routes including where they winter in Central and South America. It is the first time that has been done in Michigan, according to state officials.
“This is going to tell us where the birds go,” said Julie Oakes, a wildlife biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “It’s going to give us some idea about their survival and whether their route south is through Florida or Mexico.
Howard Meyerson, August 2013
MILFORD (WWJ/AP) – New monitoring efforts are taking place this year track the resurgence of osprey in Michigan.
The state Department of Natural Resources says GPS tracking units are being placed on several of the birds in southern Michigan. Information collected will help wildlife officials understand migration that routes the birds take and what perils they might encounter.
Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan says three units were deployed this month.
CBS Detroit, July 2013
BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) –
Back in May we showed you how D-T-E crews rescued an osprey nest from a power pole in Berlin Township.
Now, several months later those crews were back in Monroe County where they banded a recently hatched osprey chick that was still in its egg when the nest was first moved.
By Amy Andrews, myFOXDetroit.com, July 2013
BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) –
A pair of osprey that made a nest on a power pole in Berlin Township, near the Rockwood Landfill will be getting a new home thanks to crews from DTE Energy.
On Wednesday workers began working to relocate the nest that was atop a power pole not far from the Fermi II nuclear plant.
By Amy Andrews, myFOXDetroit.com, May 2013
If you see a cell phone tower, look up!
Ospreys, rarely seen in southeast Michigan for decades, are now living and thriving on the Huron River thanks in part to the Southern Michigan Osprey Reintroduction Project, which took flight in 1998. Ospreys once lived throughout Michigan. Known as the “fish hawk” because they eat fish almost exclusively, these birds live near water and use their keen eyesight and superb flying skills to catch their prey. Their feet are specialized for “fishing” with each foot having four talons – one pair facing forward, the other pair facing backward – and soles covered in sharp spines that help them grip the fish in flight.
Huron River Report, Fall 2012
Michigan wildlife officials say a “success story” is developing with the population recovery of osprey, a bird species that at one time was nearly wiped out of the southern part of the state.
Tim Martin, MLive, on July 10, 2012
Everyone loves a comeback story, and this is a good one. Just 13 years ago, there was only one osprey nest in southern Michigan. Today, there are at least 49.
The large raptor, known as the “fish hawk,” began disappearing from the Great Lakes region in step with increasing use of DDT and other pesticides. Scientists have found that these chemicals cause thinning in osprey eggshells.
Suzanne Jacobs, Michigan Radio Newsroom, July 2012
The “fish hawk” is brown above and white below, and files with a distinct bend in its wing at the “wrist.” Their feet are equipped with spiny scales and long talons that give them a firm grip on slippery fish, their only prey.
The Return Of The Osprey…
Osprey once nested throughout the Great Lakes Region. That was before the era of DDT. DDT and other pesticides thinned the egg shells of this fish-eating raptor, decimating their population and all but stopping reproduction.
Jonathon Schechter, Woods N Water News, August 2012
In 1959, ornithologist Sergej Postupalsky, then 24 years old, visited the Conservation School (now the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center) at Higgins Lake as part of a group from the National Audubon Society. It was his first trip to the area and his introduction to the Deadstream Swamp, the vast wetland west of Houghton Lake which held myriad species of wildlife, including two raptors which held special interest for him, the bald eagle and the osprey.
Story and photos by Thomas Reznich, The Houghton Lake Resorter, July 2010
In 2009, a pair of osprey built a nest in a cell phone tower adjacent to the Gibraltar Wetlands Unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, representing the first time that osprey have successfully nested in Wayne County since the 1890s.
Osprey are one of the largest birds of prey in North America, with a nearly six foot wingspan. Osprey are also known as “fish hawks.” They feed almost exclusively on fish and are considered a good indicator of aquatic ecosystem health.
John Hartig, US Fish and Wildlife Service, September 2009