Rodney 2014

Fall 2013 Migration

Rodney left his nest area on the Anacostia River in Washington, DC on the 3rd of September. He followed the standard Osprey route through Florida, Cuba, and Hispaniola before setting off on his trans-Caribbean crossing from Cabo Beata (the typical launch pad for south-bound Ospreys) on the 18th. He made landfall on the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia and then wandered around a bit before finding his way across the eastern arm of the Andes (the Cordillera Oriental). From there he descended into the Venezuelan llanos, where, presumably, he has spent his previous winters. This was our first year following him, so we're not sure, but it is extremely rare for an adult Osprey not to return to the same wintering area each year.


He was 33 days in migration, covering 3,538 miles (5,693 km), which is pretty typical.

Winter Range - 2013-4

Rodney spent his winter in the strange sand-dune dominated countryside of the Venezuelan state of Apure. The shaded areas map out where he spent his time. More on this in the next map.

Winter Range - 2013-4

These areas are the result of "kernel home-range analysis." The orange areas encircles areas where 50% of all GPS fixes are included. Orange areas are 98%, and yellow 99% of all the GPS locations. The larger orange oval is 188 square miles--about 17 miles along its long axis. That's where Rodney spent most of the five and one half months between the end of fall migration in 2013 and the beginning of spring migration on

Transmitter awakes

Six months after we last heard from Rodney's transmitter, we started getting signals. This was right where we last heard from him. I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but it's pretty obvious what happened. It looks like Rodney had a fatal encounter with an incoming or leaving aircraft.

Transmitter recovered!

Can you spot the transmitter in this picture?

Transmitter recovered!

The transmitter was in some fill dredged out of the river in the process of extending runway 33 happened to land with the solar panel up, so it recharged and started sending signals.