Artoo 2013-14

15 Aug 2013 - 31 Jan 2014

This is the longest migration (time wise) of any young we've followed. Artoo left home on the 15th of August, heading southwest. He had a 30-day layover in western NY, then moved south into PA, where he hung around for 25 days. Once he got going on 22 Sep, it was pretty much all migrating (two 1-day stopovers) until the 13th of Octber, when he had a 6-day layover in eastern Hispaniola. From there, crossed the Caribbean and moved into central Venezuela. He certainly appeared that have settled down, but after 90 days he kicked back into migration mode and moved south for another 9 days, covering another 920 miles (1,480 km). He settled down near the Amazon River, 300 miles west of Manaus.

This poses an interesting question: When did he really stop migrating? Was it when he got to Venezuela and stopped for 90 days? In my mind, and on the website, I had wrapped up his migration for the year when he stopped in Venezuela. But if his migration ended then, what do we call the 900 mile move south? A lot of our young have settled down in an area for a month or so and then wandered around the countryside, but those movements have always been somewhat random, often circling back to a known location, so I don't consider them part of that bird's migration.

I have to call the last push south part of a very prolonged migration. It will be really interesting to see what he does on his next trip south. But we'll have to wait about 10 months to satisfy our curiosity.

In Venezuela

Artoo stopped moving south on the 24th of October. This map shows his points through 23 Dec. He stayed in this region of the Venezuelan state of Apure, where a number of other tagged Ospreys have spent their winters.


Artoo surprised us on the 23rd of January when he got back into migration mode.

Details of Artoo's travels can be found on the website of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center's website.

Westward Ho

Nine days after leaving his temporary headquarters in Venezuela, Artoo arrived on the Amazon River.

He is no longer pushing south, so it looks like Artoo's migrating days are over until he heads north in another 14 months or so.

Between the 7th and 11th of January, he moved west, upstream on the Solimoes (Amazon) River, and settled down on a small lake east of Tefe.

11-14 Feb 2014

Artoo spent only four days at a small lake on the banks of the Amazon (Solimoes) River about 300 miles west of Manaus before moving northwest towards Tefe. But apparently he liked what he saw (caught) here, as we'll see below.

First Roadtrip

After only four days at that small lake, Artoo went on a 200-mile, 42-day exploration. After spending 3 weeks (9-27 March) at the confluence of the Japura and Solimoes (Amazon) Rivers, he scooted back to that small lake where this trip began. The fishing there must have been really good there for him to remember it and go back to it.

Settled down

After his junket upriver, Artoo settled down for almost six and a haf months at his small lake (completely hidden by the cluster of points towards the bottom of the map) just west of the Solimoes, and a bit east of Tefe. He typically roosts at the lake and sometimes forages out to the river.

Home range analysis

The yellow area covers 99% of Artoo's locations over the 6+ month period from late March to early October. The light orange area delineates 95% of his locations, and the dark orange shows where he spent 50% of his time.

Looking for fishier waters?

After almost six and a half months at his little lake east of Tefe, Artoo went on a major roadtrip. It's unusual for a bird to move this late in its first stay south. Young birds almost always do this, but it's usually much sooner after they've settled down.

There have been exceptions to this generalization. Two that come to mind are Penelope and Della. Penelope was on a river in French Guiana and Suriname. During her 18 months there, she moved up and down the river, presumably responding to changes in river levels associated with rainy or dry seasons. Della spent her time in Brazil, not, and the two that come to mind

It's interesting that he didn't even go to the spot where he spent three weeks on his first exploratory trip back in March.

Details of the trip follow in the next two maps.

Artoo and Della

One of our juvenile Ospreys tagged in Delaware (Della) back in 2006 settled down in this area. She spent her time in the area moving around quite a bit, presumably as conditions in the area changed from rainy to dry season.

First stop

On Artoo's exploratory trip this fall, he found a couple of islands in the middle of the Japura River. It looks like a great spot for a wintering Osprey, with lots of flooded land west of the islands. For whatever reason, he moved further up river after a 17-day stay.

Further explorations

Artoo moved further up the Japura River on the 22nd. He spent 11 days at this spot before making a day trip further west. Apparently, he wasn't impressed and headed back down river. He spent a day at his second stopover spot and then continued back down river. He got back to his established headquarters just east of Tefe on the Solimoes (Amazon) River on the 8th of November.

Exploring south

Artoo is back to his little lake where he spent over six months before his last venture to the north, although he's not spending as much time there there this time. He's still fishing up in the Solimoes (Amazon) but he's also moving south a bit, testing the waters down there.