131049 Kensington Independence

Banded on July 16, 2013
Transmitter installed on July 16, 2013
Fledged on August 1, 2013
Began Migration on September 13, 2013
Last transmission on October 14, 2013 in Venezuela

November 2013

Although Indy was the last of our three Osprey juveniles sporting GPS backpacking units to leave home he was the first to exit the US on the long and dangerous migration trip to South America. Unlike the other two 2013 Michigan juveniles with satellite transmitters reporting their movements Independence was in “Migration Mode”.

Without taking the side trips and vacation stops that slowed the progress of Leroy and Monroe Spark, Indy’s route took him directly south along I-75 into central Florida and finally down to the Florida Keys. From there he crossed into Cuba, then on into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Next came his long leap into South America.
Crossing nearly 600 miles of the Caribbean Sea Indy landed successfully in Colombia in a quick 21 days since departing his natal nest.

On October 8th he was refueling in Venezuela and appeared to be spending some time circling the countryside. It’s impossible to know if he decided to move on again as he wasn’t far from his recent “hangouts” when on October 14th his unit stopped reporting movement to the satellites. He was heading in an easterly direction when his GPS signals ended. His last coordinates show him in a remote wooded area with farm fields and a river close by.
What happened to Indy? Could a predator be responsible for his demise? We can only speculate and likely will never know the answer. What a shame.

September 26, 2013

With Indy leaving Kensington on Friday the 13th, he sure has made tracks. Not even a week yet, and he’s boogied right out of the country. Please stay safe, young man!! Keep us posted as to your plans, and we’ll attempt to guide you in the right direction. We should have put a shock collar on him to let him know when he’s heading into dangerous territory, or at least some form of a rudder to make him turn away from trouble spots. That’s the next invention for Microwave (the transmitter company), don’t ya think?!

August 23, 2013

Independence has been traveling northward up the Huron River during the past several days. Thursday morning he checked out his mom’s nesting platform located just south of Dawson Road. She raised three nice chicks there in 2011, who Julie Oakes (from the Michigan DNR) and I banded on 23 June 2011. Fortunately, it had quit raining that day just as we approached the nest by boat. The chicks were pretty little then, not even four weeks old.

Michael Reinelt took this beautiful picture of Independence flying near his nest on 05 August 2013. The transmitter is visible on his back and is clearly not adversely affecting his ability to fly. Note that Indy still has the orangish eyes and white tipped feathers of a juvenile bird.

August 2, 2013

It took some searching from my kayak yesterday morning to finally locate “Independence” but mission accomplished. He fledged at least 24 hours earlier when no one was looking and had not been spotted by any of the Osprey Paparazzi. We were all somewhat concerned. While investigating areas where I had noticed his two sisters visiting after their initial flights, I heard a familiar chirping sound, looked up, and, sure enough, there he was. He flew over my head and circled twice. There was no mistaking him. Visible was an antenna pointing skyward from between his powerful wings!! I quickly called Jane Purslow, who, along with the rest of the group, was waiting on the shore for any news of his whereabouts. I knew she had passed the word as I could hear the roaring cheers coming from their direction.

Indy is the last of the southeast Michigan’s three backpacking chicks to fledge. The mapping is wonderful so keep coming to visit this web site and watch all three as they move about their neighborhoods.

This photo was taken by Jane Purslow on 01 August 2013 of Independence. The transmitter is clearly visible as Independence sits on a shore near his nest.

Use the calendar at the top of the map to help navigate through the path of the Osprey. Click on a date and a dot representing each bird appears on the map for that date. Click on that dot, and more detailed information will appear. Drag the dot along the lines to see their path.

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