Bridget 2014


...may have completed a very short migration.

She left her nest on the 18th of August, spent 28 days on the Housatonic River in southern Connecticut and then moved down to Vero Beach, FL, where she seems to have settled down for the duration.


Bridget is a fledgling from our old faithful nest along the banks of the Pemigewasset River. She's the daughter of Art, who wore a radio from 2012-2013. She's also the sister of Artoo, who now is wearing the radio Art carried to Brazil and back. Artoo is down on the Amazon deep in Brazil. He'll come back in about 8 or 9 months.

Bridget is the 50th juvenile Osprey I have tagged. She's most likely a small female. She weighed 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs), which would be a big male or small female. Her wing length suggests she's a female, so that's our working hypothesis.

She has 2 siblings. Her parents are very productive. This is the second year in a row they have fledged 3 young. The year before, the nest blew off its pole in a violent storm.

Migration begins

 Around 9AM on Aug 20th, a day after Tilton headed south, another newly tagged New Hampshire juvenile, Bridget, left home on the first leg of her first migration. At 2PM she was on the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. She worked her way down the river a bit and spent her first night away from home in Brattleboro, MA. On the 21st, she left the river and moved south only to find it again, about 30 miles downriver in Sunderland, CT. After spending the night there, she moved south again and found the Housatonic River, just 5 miles north of its mouth on the north shore of Long Island Sound. As of 2 Sept, she's still there, waiting for the mood and the weather to nudge her into motion again.

A long stopover

 Bridget is a river gal. She spent 28 days on the Housatonic before getting going on her migration again on the 18th of September.

Migration. This time she means it!

 On the 18th, apparently tired of the Housatonic River--or after she had caught all the fish in it--Bridget moved south and spent the night in New Jersey. She missed the hawk count site at Cape May, crossing Delaware Bay well west of Cape May. On the 19th, she may have been counted at Cape Charles, or at least been seen by motorists at the northern end of the Chesapeak Bay Bridge-tunnel.

She spent the night of the 20th in eastern North Carolina, in Swanquarter (what a great name) on the northern shore of Pamlico Bay.

Over open water

 Bridget took off a bit before 9AM on the 20th and did what a lot of migrating Ospreys do when they hit the Outer Banks of North Carolina--they head out over the Atlantic. Most Adults know the route well enough to head southwest, rather than southeast, as our rookie Bridget. She left the coast at 10 AM and got to Little Abaco Island in the Bahamas 26 hours later. She covered 605 miles (974 km). She averaged 23 mph (37.5 kph), which is typical for Ospreys out over open water.

When she got to the Bahamas, she moved due west through Grand Bahama Island and then over to Florida. When she got to Florida, she surprised us by heading north to Vero Beach. This has been a year of birds doing weird things--more so than normal.

Migration over?

 Bridget seems to have settled down. Maybe for the winter. But I have had a bird (Thatch) who settled in around North Palm Beach on September 17th. He stayed there until the 28th of October, when he suddenly kicked back into migration mode and went all the way to the Amazon. My guess now is that she'll stay put. But, if there's one thing I've learned tracking Opreys since 2000 is that there's no end of surprises--Ron's extra trip from DC to almost Cuba and back before really starting his migration is a classic case in point.