131050 Pinckney Leroy

Banded on July 9, 2013
Transmitter installed on July 18, 2013
Fledged on July 30, 2013
Began Migration on September 3, 2013
Recovered December 17, 2013 near Doral, Florida
Deceased December 17, 2013
Returned to Michigan January 2014

January 2014

On the evening of Tuesday, December 17, Sergej received an email from the Bird Banding Lab that Leroy’s band had been reported. Upon checking the mapping we noticed him remaining close to one area of a lake at the Doral Country Club. However, a later fix showed he was at the Miami Museum of Science. That indicated either he had traveled to the museum from the Doral area or just his transmitter did.

Of course we were worried that he may have been injured so we contacted the South Florida Wildlife Center to see if they had him in their care. That was negative but they did some searching and found that he had been taken to the Miami facility which specializes in raptors.

We immediately phoned the Museum and learned that on Tuesday he had arrived by vehicle with an exposed fracture to the tibia. The golf course grounds personnel had found him on the ground and unable to fly so reported his injury to the Museum. He was picked up by Museum staff, transported and examined. According to their Vet’s report the break was high and open, near the joint and making it impossible to pin. He was euthanized at that time. Sigh!
Our group knows the mortality rate of these youngsters but we were really pulling for Leroy as he had remained in the US. Although his location was in a high traffic area we were feeling positive. Plans were made with a Doral Country Club staff member to search for him after Christmas. My camera was all set to snap pics if we saw him. This wasn’t what I had in mind. What a disappointment! (Double sigh!!)

Miami has Leroy’s transmitter so we will drive down to the museum some time in the next week or so to retrieve it. Next year another Osprey will wear this unit and Leroy’s spirit will soar once more.

September 26, 2013

Leroy has already given me heart failure while visiting Miami International Airport a couple of times and hovering over the Dolphin Expressway while in the area. How he escaped unscathed from both locations is a miracle. Looks like maybe he took in a round or two of golf at Doral while in South Florida.

September 11, 2013

The satellite shows us that Leroy has arrived in Florida, way down on the southeast tip of the state!! Wow, speedy bird!

On Saturday, 07 September, Leroy crossed from the peach state of Georgia into the sunshine state of Florida. Once he passed the northwest side of Jacksonville, his flight plan took him almost due south, and he spent his first evening in Florida on the southeast side of Ocala, near the Villages and far from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Continuing his trip on Sunday morning, Sparky bypassed Orlando, leaving Disney World in his wake, and quickly winged his way through Central Florida until he arrived near Alligator Alley for the evening. Alligator Alley is the former name of the stretch of I 75 that now travels straight east/west through the Everglades and connects Florida’s Gulf Coast with the Atlantic side of the state.

The following Monday morning, he could have followed this route to Florida’s east coast. There’s lots of friendly Ospreys that hang out in the Everglades. It appears he couldn’t decide just which was the best way to travel. So he zigzagged his way for a short time through the Everglades until he reached the southwest corner of Everglades National Park where any Osprey would discover a fisherbird’s paradise…many fishing holes from which to select a proper meal. It was a perfect place to dine, roost, and sleep through a Monday evening.

I was convinced that from this location Sparky would head to Cuba, but, on Tuesday morning, he changed directions and flew to Homestead, located south of Miami. The last satellite “ping” shows him roosting in a wooded area alongside a canal which feeds directly into the Atlantic Ocean. Here Leroy is staring straight at the Bahamas. There’s salt water out there, Leroy. Be prepared for a new dining experience.

September 5, 2013

Leroy is on his way!! He is the second of three chicks wearing backpack units for satellite tracking to begin their first migration. American Tower Corporation funded the unit he wears, and, thanks to their generosity, we will be able to track Leroy’s journey to wherever he decides will be his wintering grounds. After weeks of practicing his flight and fishing skills, it was time to put them to use.

At 11:15 on Labor Day morning, he said his final good byes and departed his home high atop a 200 ft.cell tower west of Pinckney. From there, he flew directly southeast towards Lake Erie. By noon, “Mr. Speedy” had already made a right turn at Toledo City and was heading directly south for Ohio border as he crossed both Lake Erie and Maumee Bay. At 2:00 PM, he had approached Tiffon Nature Preserve southeast of Toledo, took a deep breath, and continued on to Marion, OH. By 6:00, he likely needed to rest and refuel, so he put on the brakes when he arrived at one of the many bends of the Scioto River. Ahhh, here was water…fish for dinner… a tree to roost on for the night…the ideal habitat for a tired and hungry young Osprey. Smart bird.

The tracking doesn’t tell us what time he departed on September 3 from his overnight roost, but by 10 AM, we do know that he was already near Columbus, OH. While traveling close to US 23 and the Scioto River on the southeast side of Cincinnati, he crossed the Ohio River and at noon arrived in the beautiful Bluegrass State of Kentucky. By 8:00 that evening, Leroy called it a day as he touched down in a tree on the water’s edge of Buckhorn Lake State Park, KY. Leroy had discovered another great fishing spot and a friendly tree for the night. Again, smart bird.
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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