CT Audubon Society seeks Osprey volunteers

Ospreys in Fairfield. Photo courtesy of Anastasia Zinkerman

Ospreys in Fairfield. —Anastasia Zinkerman photo.

To the Editor:

Ospreys have returned to Connecticut for the nesting season. If trends continue, well over 400 pairs will successfully raise young birds here and send them on their way in 2018.

We can make that estimate because of the amazing work of the people who volunteer for the Osprey Nation citizen science project.

With the season about to start, the Connecticut Audubon Society is putting out a call for new volunteers.

All you need are binoculars and a couple of spare hours each month until August.

We can easily help find a nest for you to monitor in a convenient location!

Although we think we know the location of almost all of the nests in the state, we’ve lost a number of volunteers who have moved on to other interests or to other parts of the country.

So we need more than 100 new volunteers to ensure that this season will be a success.

Please email our Osprey Nation coordinator, Melina Giantomidis, to let her know if you are interested: [email protected].

She can give you all the details. We ask our Osprey Nation volunteers to visit their assigned nest once every two weeks, for 15 or 20 minutes. To take notes on what they observe. And to submit their observations to be recorded in our database.

Started in 2014, Osprey Nation is one of the largest citizen science projects in Connecticut.

Ospreys have made a remarkable comeback from the brink of extinction. The Osprey Nation project was conceived as a way to track their status in Connecticut.

Because Ospreys eat only fish, they are good indicators of the health of the state’s waterways. If the number of Ospreys declines, it might indicate a serious environmental problem.

If that happens, Osprey Nation volunteers will be the people who sound the warning first. It’s important work.

Click this link to find the latest Osprey Nation Annual report; a tally of the Osprey’s recent success in Connecticut; and a link to our interactive map showing every Osprey nest that the volunteers have been able to find in the state. All our Osprey Nation webpages are here.

Please volunteer. Email [email protected]. The state’s Ospreys need your help.

Milan Bull

Senior Director of Science and Conservation

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