Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Results Are In!!

Mild weather helps boost Osprey population

This year was the most productive year for ospreys in the projects history. The reproductive rate was about 2 young per active nest (an all time high for the project). No doubt the calm weather played an important role this year. Calm weather makes prey easier for ospreys to find, especially fluke and flounder, one of their main prey sources. More food means larger broods. Nests with three, even four young were quite common this year.

An adult osprey calls to defend its offspring at a nest in Mantoloking, NJ. © Eric Sambol
Of the 308 active nests (where the outcome was known) 36% of nests had 3 young, 33% had 2 young, and 14% had one young. Only 11% observed had failed to produce young. For comparison, in 2006, 14% failed and in 2003, 46% failed. 2003 was the worst year for ospreys in recent history (to read the 2003 newsletter, click here). Weather played a large factor that year. Check out one of my previous posts for more on weather and production. To read the full results from the 2010 survey, click here.

Thank you to all our volunteers who braved the scorching heat this summer to collect data to help us manage and monitor the population! And thank you to all donors and supporters of the project! With out your support and contributions our work would not be possible!

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