2015 Fall Mid-Atlantic
The Winter 2015-16 map is now the active map for all birds.
All Birds - Fall 2015 (7 Aug - 20 Oct)
Birds are listed in order of their 2015 departure if they were tagged last year.
Move the gray rectangular slider at the bottom of the interactive map to animate the birds' movements.
Scroll down for updated commentary on each bird's movements.
Lizzie (brown), 13 Aug 2015. Bridgewater, NH juvenile female. Lizzie died about 26 Aug--maybe electrocuted. Movement after that date is just her transmntiter being sent back to us.
Snowy (burgundy), 7 Aug (17 Aug 2014). Martha's Vineyard, MA, 4-yr old female.
Edwin (yellow), 16 Aug (18 Aug 14). Fishers Island male.
Staddler (lt. green), 30 Aug. (new). Hampton, NH, adult male.
Artoo (pink), 1 Sep. 2013 NH 3-yr old male. Died overwater east of Florida.
Juliet (dk. blue), 3 Sep. Tilton, NH, juvenile female(?).
Gundersen (white), 7 Sep. (new) Bristol, NH, adult male.
Wausau (gold) 11 Sep. (new) Groveton, NH, adult male.
Belle (blue), 15 Sep. (19 Sep 14) Martha's Vineyard 5 yr-old female.
Nick (teal), 18 Sep (18 Sep 14) Chesapeake Bay adult male.
Charlie (red), 20 Sep (12 Sep 14) Fishers Island male.
Donovan (green), 20 Sep (18 Sep 14) NH adult male.
North Fork Bob (orange), 27 Sep (19 Sep 14) Long Island adult male.
Quin (gray), 1 Oct (26 Sep 14) Chesapeake Bay male.
Flow (lt. blue), (n.a.) Essex, MA, 1-yr old male.
Notes: I think I've got the colors right now, although they may show up differently on different computers.
Hover the cursor over a dot to see which bird is which. Click on it for location details
You can zoom in and out and move the map around. If you slide a birds marker along its path, you'll see where the other birds were when your bird was wherever you have the marker. You can also use the calendar to see where all the birds were on a given date.
(Scroll up for interactive map)
Nick (a Tangiers Island male) got back to his winter area in the Magdalena River valley. He arrived on 29 Sept, just 12 days after leaving the Chesapeake Bay. He is exhibiting some unusual behavior. He arrived at his wintering area in the Magdalena valley and has made two rather substantial "road trips" wandering away from his regular spot. Most adults get back to their winter HQ and stay put for the duration.
Quin, our second male from Tangiers Island, was last heard from on the 8th, crossing Key Largo--just 2 miles from the hotel I was staying in at the time. He won't have made it to the Caribbean yet, but is somewhere in Cuba.
See the New England Fall page for updates on the rest of the flock.
28 September 2015:
One of our two surviving Chesapeake birds, Nick crossed the Caribbean and is almost back at his winter home in the Magdalena River Valley in Colombia. Quin is still on Tangier Island. Last year he left on 26 Sept. so as of this update, he's two days behind schedule.
As for the New England flock, we've lost Artoo between Florida and Cuba. The pink track going north was probably him on a boat going north, and then at the end, apparently his body floating in the Florida Current. We have no idea what might have happened to him. There's no indication that there was any severe weather in the area, so this is a complete, and very frustrating mystery. We're not supposed to get attached to our study subjects, but we do. It's especially frustrating when a young bird makes it through the tough first migration cycle and then is lost on its second trip south.
All the New Hampshire birds are on the move. Juliet is the first across the Caribbean and is safely on the Guajira Peninsula. This is her first trip, so neither she nor we know where she's going. After his departure on 20 Sept (2 days later than last year), Donovan caught up with Wausau and Gundersen in central Cuba, where there is a New Hampshire traffic jam. Staddler is over in Haiti.
In Long Island Sound, Fishers Island male Charlie also started south on the 20th, leaving North Fork Bob as the winner of the New England "Last one out, turn off the lights" award this year. Charlie's last signal was in southern Florida. By now he's somewhere in the cell-tower black hole of Cuba.
Snowy is holding tight at the Laguna de la Leche. Still taking bets on whether she's going to spend the whole winter there as she did in 2013-14, or move on to her Venezuelan winter home as she did last winter. It's looking more and more like she's going to stay there, which is fine by me! She's precious cargo for us now as the second longest surviving tagged juvenile (behind Belle) and I don't want her crossing the Caribbean.
15 September 2015:
The cool, crisp weather and north winds have convinced a few more birds to get moving. Wassau left his nest area in central New Hampshire on the 11th and is now in northern New Jersey. He might get counted at the Cape May Hawk Watch in a day or so. Belle got going on the 15th, four days earlier than her start back in 2014.
We've got four New Hampshire birds in Florida now: Artoo (2013 juvie on 2nd trip south), Staddler and Gundersen (newly tagged adult males), and Juliet (newly tagged juvie on her 1st trip south. Our other New Hampshire bird, Donovan, is going for the "last one out, turn off the lights" award.
Around Long Island Sound, Charlie (Fishers Island male) is spending a lot of time on Gardiners Island, just as he did last year before taking off, so I suspect he'll leave soon. North Fork Bob seems to like his new nest and can't seem to tear himself away from it. They should both leave soon(ish).
Our two veteran males from the lower Chesapeake Bay (Nick and Quin) have been staying very close to home. They started south last year on the 18th and 26th, respectively.
2 September 2015:
Our first bird is across the Caribbean--well almost across. When he downloaded (at 1:30 PM on 2 Sept) he was 10 miles from the Colombian coast. He left the D.R. at 6:28 PM on the 1st and 19 hours later had covered 386 miles, which is almost exactly 20 mph (33 kph). The crossing was made "down on the deck." His average altitude on the crossing was 17 m (51 feet). Only once was more than 30 m over the water.
1 September 2015:
Sadly we lost our very interesting juvenile, Lizzie, probably to electrocution. She was found right below some high tension wires near her adopted nest. Details on the New England page.
24 January 2015:
It's not usual to get a surprise in the middle of the winter. At least it wasn't when we had only satellite transmitters on our Ospreys. Now that some of our birds carry cell-tower transmitters, we occasionally have birds pop up after long silences when they wander into an area with celll tower coverage. This is what happened with Crabby, a female we tagged on Kent Island in Chesapeake Bay last spring.
In the fall, Crabby migrated to the northeastern coast of South America. She arrived in French Guiana on October 4th. It looked like she was going to settle down there. Then, just a day later, we stopped getting signals from her. I was worried because it did look like she had settled down, so we shoud have continued to get sporadic messages from her over the course of the winter. She was on the outskirts of Cayenne, the capitol of French Guiana. So that suggested cell coverage should be good, but it also meant she might have a high likelihood of being shot.
After 3 months with no signals, I assumed she was dead or had just moved to a spot without cell coverage (there's much more down in South America than one would expect). In either case, we probably would have to wait until spring when she either showed up again somewhere along her migration route, or just never reappeared, which would have meant something had happened to her.
So it was a nice surprise to get an email with data from a transmitter number I didn't recognize. (Each message from a cell-tower bird has the ID of the bird.) It had been so long since I'd heard from her that I had to look up the number.
We're missing some data. We don't have any locations from Oct 6th through Dec 20th, so we don't know when she moved down, but from at least the 20th of December to th 19th of January, she was along the coast 50 mi. (80 km) southeast of Cayenne and 10 miles west of Brazil's northernmost state of Amapa.
This map begins on 1 October. At that time, Artoo (juvenile tagged in 2013) was moving around a bit, but basically settled down (he'll come back next spring), Snowy (MVY bird from 2011) had returned to her winter range from 2011-2012, Woody was back west of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, Clyde (2014 young from Long Island) seems to have settled down on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Venezuela, and Bridget is showing all signs that she thinks Vero Beach, FL, is a good place to spend the next 18 months.
Flow (2014 juvenile from Essex, MA) hadn't really started migrating with any conviction yet and was still up around Chesapeake Bay, North Fork Bob (always a late starter in the fall) was in western Cuba, Belle (tagged as a juvenile on Martha's Vineyard in 2010), Charlie (Fishers Island adult male tagged in 2014), and Ron (adult male tagged in Washington, DC in 2013) were all within about 80 miles of each other in southeastern Cuba.
By 14 November, it seems almost everyone has settled down for the winter. North Fork Bob did his usual thing of stopping for a while in the flooded grasslands (llanos) of central Venezuela. He's now moving up into the highlands of the Guiana Shield, where he has spent all his previous winters along the Ventuari River. His radio missed a few transmissions, so I won't be surprised if we lose track of him like we did last year with his 2010 Classmate Sr. Bones. The youngsters (Bridget, Flow, and Clyde) may move again, but I'd be very surprised if they make any major moves south.