North Fork Bob - 2014

Spring 2015

21 April - North Fork Bob has just completed his record-breaking 5th migration north with one of our satellite tags.

It was a very straightforward trip, without any of the wildly unexpected detours we saw in some of the other birds.


Scoll down for his maps starting way back in the winter of 2013-4, or to follow the last full migration cycle:

Skip to the fall 2014 migration maps


Fall 2013

Bob returned to the same area along the Ventuari River in southern Venezuela where he spent the winters of 2010-13. He did make an unusual trip back down to the lowlands after arriving on the Ventuari on Nov. 4th.

1 Jan - 23 Mar 2014

This is the same area Bob has used every winter since 2010 when we first tagged him.

Spring return

This was Bob's fourth trip north--a record for any of our tagged Ospreys. It was a fairly quick trip--with short layovers in Cuba and North Carolina, and very similar to his other three spring migration paths, indicated on the map here in green.

His trip was about 3,270 miles (5265 km), which he covered in 20 total days--16 of which were migration days. He averaged just over 200 miles/migration day--25% above the average (163 miles/day) for males on spring migration.

Home again

Bob did some exploring up in Connecticut shortly after he got home. This year it did not appear that he spent any time at the marsh nest pole he's been staking out the past few summers.

A bit of exploring

Bob took a quick trip up to Rhode Island, but returned and spent some time both on the North and South Forks of eastern Long Island.

Settled in for the summer

Besides a trip west along the northern shore of Peconic Bay, Bot did very little of interest in these 2 weeks.

More of the same


Fishing the Bay

Some fish have appeared in Peconic Bay - probably menhaden, and Bob's taking advantage of the opportunity.

Fishing the Bay

This summer was different from previous years, when Bob spent quite a bit of time west of Peconic Bay up the Peconic River. Here are all Bob's locations for July and August.

Hanging out

Life's pretty laid-back for a non-breeding Osprey. Bob spent most of his loafing time around Deep Cove Creek.

Curiously, he spent a lot of afternoon time up in some open fields north of Deep Cove. I sent out my spies in the area and learned that not only Bob, but at least one other Osprey just stands out on the ground there. I could understand this if the weather were really nasty, but they're doing it in the middle of the afternoon in fine weather. Very bizarre. Why that field? Some things we'll never understand.

Fall 2014

13 November - North Fork Bob has just completed his record-breaking 5th migration with one of our satellite tags. He left his summer range on the 19th of September--a bit early for him--and got to the llanos of Venezuela on October 13th.

As in past years, he spent some time (29 days) in the flooded grasslands before he made his final move up to the highlands of the Guianan Shield.


Scoll down for a review of the year's movements or

Skip to the fall migration maps

Migration begins

Bob started his migration a bit earlier than the last three years (Oct 3, Sep 29, Sep 24). After a big start (260 miles all the way to Virginia), he had a no-drama trip through the states. That's the way we like it!

Island hopping

Bob sort of moseyed through Cuba in 8 days and is now at Lake Azuei (where Belle always stops to refuel), gearing up for the crossing of the Caribbean Sea.

Now that was efficient!

Bob took the absolutely shortest route possible across the Caribbean, from Cabo Beata in the D.R. to the Guajira Peninsula in northernmost Colombia. The trip was 345 miles (556 km).

After the crossing, he cut across the Gulf of Venezuela and skirted the eastern Cordillera of the Andes, passing into the Venezuelan llanos on the 11th.

On the 12th he stopped at a spot where he always spends some time before heading up to his hideout in the highlands of the Guianan Shield in south-central Venezuela. He may spend as long as a month or even a bit more here. Eventually, he'll move further southeast and settle down on the Ventuari River.

A creature of habit

Bob almost always stops here in the Venezuelan state of Apure before heading up into the highlands. As in previous years, he made a move in the direction of his regular winter range, but changed his mind and retreated. He finally made the move on the 12th of November.

Back in his winter home

Bob made an easy 2-day trip up to the Ventuari River. Will he stay this time? Last year he got up to his spot and then turned around and went back down to his staging area for a couple of weeks before making the final move up into the highlands.

All roads lead to Rome

This map shows how Bob has arrived at the Ventuari River each of the five years we've been following him. The only year he didn't stop in the llanos up in Apure was 2010 (the greed track).

Once again, we see the remarkable navigational ability of these birds. He can find his way back to his favorite stretch of the river from just about anywhere.

Same old same old

This map shows how Bob spent the first three months of 2015 at his wintering range on the Ventuari River. I could have just copied the map from any of this other winters and pasted it here and it wouldn't have looked different at all, except for continued deforestation in the region.

The comparable map for 2014 is below.

2014 Winter

For comparison to the 2015 winter. The only real differences are the frequency with which he used his four favorite spots. He did quite a bit more fishing at his "satellite" locations, especially up in the northeastern portion of his winter range, above the bend in the river, in 2015.

2015 Spring

21 April - North Fork Bob has just completed his record-breaking 5th migration north with one of our satellite tags.

It was a very straightforward trip, without any of the wildly unexpected detours we saw in some of the other birds.

Five Spring Migrations

Spring migrations are much more directed than fall, when birds sort of meander their way south. Comparing Bob's spring tracks to his fall migrations illustrates the differences we see across all birds (see the next map).

Five Fall Migrations

This map shows us that for Ospreys it's the destination, not the journey. He doesn't care how he gets there, but he always goes back to the same spot. The map is also convincing proof that he doesn't find his way back to Venezuela using landmarks along a memorized route!