Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Art the osprey touches down in NH

Art the osprey touches down in NH | Local News - WMUR Home

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
BRIDGEWATER, N.H. —Art, an 8-year-old osprey rigged with a global tracking device, has touched down at its summer nest in Bridgewater.

With a mix of high-pitched chirps and swooping dives, Art announced its arrival to its mate at their home atop an old, wooden electrical pole along the Pemigewasset River.

 Last year, researchers from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center were able to attach a GPS tracking system to the bird that allowed them to study its winter migration.

 The osprey left its Bridgewater nest in September and traveled south to Florida, across the ocean to Cuba, then Haiti, then 400 miles over the Caribbean Ocean to South America, until finally landing in Brazil.

The trip lasted 38 days and covered almost 5,000 miles.

 Art's journey back to New Hampshire was 21 days and ended Wednesday morning with what experts call a "sky dance" just before 10 a.m.

Art's mate was waiting, and the two quickly got reacquainted with each other before Art went off to catch a fish.

Osprey expert Ian MacLeod said the two will mate hundreds of times in the next couple weeks before the female lays three to four eggs.

Art will provide the family with food during that time. By the end of the summer, the young will leave the nest, and a short time later, the pair will part, with Art heading back down to Brazil, where he'll spend the winter before his return trip to the same New Hampshire nest next spring.