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Thread subject: copy of email from Rob
Name Date Message
karen 02/19/07 03:52 pm Greetings,

Lots of news, some good and some bad.
First the good news/bad news item. The good news is that
Moshup, our Martha's Vineyard bird from this year, is alive. The bad
news is that he was shot and brought in to someone who is caring for
him in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. I don't
hold out much hope for Moshup, as Ospreys are notoriously difficult
to rehabilitate--they're just too nervous in captivity to calm down
enough to eat. Ironic in a bird that so easily acclimates to nesting
on light towers over shopping mall parking lots. I guess their
personal space is narrowly defined and very important to them. The
person who has the bird is not experienced in dealing with injured
birds, but took the initiative to call me (my phone number is on the
Within a couple of hours of getting the call from Antonio
(Moshup's current caretaker) I found the email address of a
conservation biologist who works on Hispaniola and from him got the
name and phone number of someone at the zoo in Santo Domingo and am
trying to get the bird over to the zoo, where they'll have a better
chance of helping Moshup out than Antonio does. Not too many years
ago it would have been mind boggling to have made those connections
so fast. Now, we sort of expect that the world is that small. I don't
suppose the folks at DARPA who put the Internet together could have
predicted that their concoction would help someone care for an
injured Osprey from a thousand miles away, but that's how it worked
While Moshup's chances probably aren't good, given Ospreys'
nature in such situations (and not knowing how serious the injury
is), we did get the transmitter back, and that's a $3000 windfall.
David Gessner, author of "The Return of the Osprey" (a must
read for Ospreyphilles) and the soon to be released "Soaring With
Fidel", has put together a great website devoted to Ospreys. The
site, unambiguously enough, is . Go browse
the site. There's lots of fascinating info on Ospreys, including an
excellent guest essay by Alan Poole on the state of Ospreys around
the world and the latest research into their biology. (I'll write the
next guest essay on migration).
David's upcoming book (Soaring with Fidel) chronicles his
travels as he followed the birds we tagged in '04 and the BBC crew
filming their documentary. "Fidel", I believe is our own Bluebeard
(the adult male from the Outermost Inn nest over the Gay Head
cliffs), whom David renamed with appropriate poetic licence, to
recognize the temporary Cuban citizenship that most east-coast
Ospreys enjoy twice a year.
Speaking of the BBC documentary, it will air on the Animal
Planet at 8PM on the east coast next Monday (Feb. 26). It's already
been aired in the UK and South America. Not sure why we saw it last.
Set your Tivos or watch it live and relive the '04 migration.
Jaws, Homer, and Conanicus should be heading north sometime
soon. Stay tuned for new maps!


Rob Bierregaard
Biology Dept.
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte NC 28223

704 333 2405
Melanie 02/19/07 04:41 pm Thanks for that, Karen - I've been checking his site for updates to see if anyone has started moving yet, but no updates. Nothing like a watched pot!
Anne UK1 02/19/07 05:42 pm Poor Moshup :(

Thanks from me also for the news. I too keep going to the maps to see if anyone's on the move yet.
Celeste 02/19/07 05:56 pm Dito on poor Moshup. One of the things that Poole mentions is how in some countries ospreys end up in someone's pot.

Thanks for the very interesting update Karen.
FOB Webmaster 02/19/07 07:07 pm The USFWS reported that in the 7 Latin American countries they surveyed, as many as 14,000 ospreys are thought to be killed every year by fish farmers.
Tim P 02/19/07 07:15 pm Yikes !
When is open season for fish farmers ???
I'd like to catch me a big one.
lynn 02/19/07 07:38 pm Lisa, thanks for the Latin America info re our Ospreys. It's sad to hear how many Osprey are killed to help fish farmers maintain their living.

What was heartening, was to hear the Latin American and USFWS were trying to work out something beneficial to both the Ospreys and the farmers!
FOB Webmaster 02/19/07 09:31 pm Yes, that was good that many of the fish farmers wanted to find ways to keep the ospreys away without having to kill them.

But boy, it boggles the mind to think of how many are killed in all of Latin America -- and not just by fish farmers but also by chicken farmers, etc. Makes you wonder how any of them come back alive.
Melanie 02/20/07 09:54 am Boggles the mind? Makes my blood boil to think that people go to so much effort here to get the populations healthy only to have them shot at the other end.
Anne UK1 02/20/07 11:34 am Different worlds, different priorities I guess.
Marie 02/20/07 12:41 pm Like you Melanie, I feel the same ... it really is disheartening to know that so many are shot while just trying to exist. If hey built some kind of mesh structure over the fish pens perhaps the ospreys would go elsewhere.......or designated one pen entirely for the birds to visit. I know ospreys can't read but if they made one pen so appealing with snags around it etc and anything else ospreys love then perhaps everyone would be happy. There has to be other ways of coexisting instead of resorting to all that slaughter. So sad so sad.
It is truly a miracle to see any of our ospreys return each spring with those kind of numbers being published. If one fish farmer kills 200 or more a year and there are many fish farmers within the wintering grounds of osprey those annual total deaths could be staggering.
Pam 02/20/07 01:07 pm I am wondering why chicken farmers would kill ospreys? In the documentary I seem to remember that the people who fished the lakes in Colombia relied on the ospreys to point out where the fish were. So glad that they salvaged the expensive transmitter but sad that it had to happen that way. We will be waiting anxiously to see if we have a Betty and Dennis returning to the nest this year.
FOB Webmaster 02/20/07 02:56 pm Pam, I had read that many in Latin America view all raptors as threats to their livestock. If it has sharp beaks and sharp talons, then it's a threat to the family's animals. So I don't think many of them wait to identify the bird before shooting it.

Copyright © 2007 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 17, 2007