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Loons on Squam Lake

Project OspreyTrack: Donovan Map

Sponsored by: Eversource Energy

July 29, 2016
At what is now Oscar and Wilma’s nest, they successfully raised 2 chicks this year. Both chicks are now flying.

May 30, 2016
At Donovan’s old nest, his mate has successfully hatched chicks once again with her new mate. The employees at the nearby business held a competition to name him. The winning name is Oscar. When Donovan first used this nest pole, they had named his mate Wilma. So Oscar and Wilma it is.

March 29, 2016
Donovan’s mate has returned to their nest in Tilton. I am still holding out hope that Donovan might return with a dud transmitter, but it’s more likely that he died back in November. She is wasting no time in finding a new mate, and another male was already looking quite at home at the nest. There is no room for sentimentality in the Osprey world – she needs a mate to make baby Ospreys and this new guy fits the bill.

Tilton nest - March 29, 2016 Tilton nest - March 29, 2016

November 25, 2015
We lost contact with Donovan on November 11. There were no signs of trouble in his last upload. He was in his usual winter spot and going about his usual routine, but there have been no more uploads. We are going to hope that this is a transmitter failure. This transmitter was manufactured in spring 2012, and deployed on Donovan in May 2013. Not super old, but past the manufacturers stated life span (several have lasted MUCH longer than that). So, I will have to wait and see if Donovan returns to his nest next spring or not. Fingers crossed.

October 28, 2015
Donovan is now well and truly settled in for the winter. He is following the exact same pattern of activity as previous years. We should be in for a nice boring winter. I won’t update maps and his blog unless something noteworthy happens. You can still check in on him via the interactive maps and the phone app. Have a safe winter Donovan?

Donovan - October 28, 2015

October 17, 2015
Donovan is right back into his winter routine, commuting between his two favorite fishing spots. Should be all very boring from him until next spring . . . which is good!

October 13, 2015
Donovan is safely back at his winter home on the Rio Claro. He arrived at 2pm on 12th. Last year he arrived home at 3pm on 12th . . . more excellent planning by our boy.

Donovan - October 13, 2015

October 9, 2015
Donovan made his crossing of the Caribbean Sea. He started at about 4:30 pm on October 7 and flew through the night. He arrived on the small island of Bonaire at 1pm on the 8th where he stopped for a rest. He was still there this morning. He is right on schedule compared to last year. He will likely cross over to Venezuela later today.

Donovan - October 9, 2015

October 3, 2015
Donovan is a creature of habit. This is the third fall migration of his that we have followed. He is doing exactly what he did in both 2013 and 2014. He is now taking a rest and fishing on rivers around Santo Domingo, D.R. He arrived on the Rio Haina at 10am on October 1st. Last year he arrived here at noon on October 2nd and in 2013 he arrived here at 2pm on October 2nd. Now that’s planning. After hanging out on the river for a couple hours, he moved a little to the north of the city to the Rio Higuero, where he spent all of October 2nd and was still there into the 3rd. A good spot to replenish his strength before crossing the Caribbean Sea. In 2013, he spent three days around Santo Domingo and in 2014, he spent 5 days.

Donovan - October 3, 2015

September 29, 2015
Donovan continues to really move. On the 24th he did another 234 miles. On the 25th he went another 295 miles from north of Lake Okeechobee all the way to Cuba! On the 26th he “slowed down” and just did 175 miles. He ended the 27th on a lake near Siboney. He’s on familiar ground here. We’ve seen him pass through here three times before. The second map shows his routes from Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014 and Spring 2014 – all with a 7 mile-wide corridor through Cuba. Late data on 29th showed that Donovan had crossed to Haiti.

Donova - September 29, 2015

Donovan - previous routes

All ospreys - September 29, 2015

September 24, 2015
No . . . Donovan did NOT fly to Africa. Those of you who have checked the interactive map or the Animal Tracker phone app today may have thought that Donovan had taken an 8,000km+ overnight trip to Burkina Faso in W. Africa. This is what we call a “transmitter hiccup” and usually the tracking experts at Movebank filter out these points before publishing their maps, but this one slipped through. Donovan is in fact on the move south in Florida having spent the night near Jacksonville. These GPS anomalies are quite rare, but just about every one of my transmitters has had one at some point. I eliminate them from my data before creating my maps. I assume they are caused by a data glitch in the GPS communication with the satellite. One coordinate off can plot the point thousands of miles away.

Donovan - September 24, 2015

Donovan is really setting a blistering pace. He has made it to Florida in four days. He went 286 miles on day one, 324 miles on day two, 255 miles on day three and 217 miles on day four.

Donovan - September 24, 2015

September 21, 2015
Donovan headed south on Sunday (last of our NH birds to leave) and quickly made up for lost time. He put in an incredible first day of 286 miles. He ended the day next to Six Flags in Jackson, NJ perched next to a lake between Black Beard’s Lost Treasure Train and Skull Mountain!

Donovan - September 20, 2015

September 11, 2015
Donovan is in pre-migration mode. He is spending all of his time at his favorite fishing spot in Franklin and has not visited the nest area since September 7. He’s done this in previous years -- fattening up and getting ready for the long flight to Venezuela. This will be the third Donovan fall migration we’ve followed. We know he will head back to his winter home near the Orinoco River. In 2013, he left on September 17. In 2014, he left on September 18. When will he leave this year? Keep an eye on the latest on all our birds on the interactive map:

Donovan - September 11, 2015

September 1, 2015
Like father, like daughter. Donovan and Juliet are still present at their nest in Tilton. I timed my brief visit yesterday perfectly. Within 5 minutes of arriving Donovan appeared with a fish and landed on the nest where Juliet was waiting and food begging. I snapped a shot of the two of them with their matching antennas. Donovan quickly left and Juliet flew to a perch next to the nearby pond.

Donovan and Juliet - August 31, 2015

August 25, 2015
Donovan and his mate successfully raised two healthy chicks. On August 11, we tagged one of them, so now we can follow Donovan’s daughter. We think daughter . . . the weight and body measurements were in the gray area between male and female size (females are bigger), so for now she is called Juliet (but maybe should be Julian). Donovan is following the same patterns as previous years with his favorite fishing area being on the Pemi, just below the dam in Franklin.

July 8, 2015
Donovan and his mate are raising a couple of healthy looking chicks. I stopped by the other day and found Donovan sitting on one of the nearby light poles with a fish. I managed to get a couple close up shots of our boy.

Donovan - July 2015

June 27, 2015
Donovan and his mate have two healthy-looking chicks and Donovan is foraging in a very similar pattern to 2014 and 2013 except that he is in a slightly more compact area (see map with complete data for summers of 2013-2015). Either, he was become more efficient in his hunting over the years or his wanderings further south along the Merrimack River will be later in the season this year.

Donovan 2013 to 2015 comparison

May 27, 2015
DONOVAN IS A DAD!! I stopped by his nest yesterday and the female's behavior confirmed that we have at least one chick hatched. She almost certainly laid three eggs, so the rest will hatch over the next couple days.

May 26, 2015
Donovan and his mate are nearing the end of their incubation stage. They began sitting on eggs by April 20, so as of today they are at about 36-37 days. Osprey eggs hatch between 35 and 40 days, so by the end of the week there should be chicks hatching. Yesterday Donovan was taking his turn on the eggs. He was so comfy that he didn't leave right away when his mate returned to the nest. After finishing up the remains of the fish she had in her talons, she decided to do a little decorating and ended up plopping a stick on Donovan's back. That was his cue to leave! The photo shows the pair -- note Donovan's transmitter antennae.

Donovan incubating eggs - May 25, 2015

April 24, 2015
Donovan's activity, now that he is home and he and his mate are sitting on eggs, will be very boring. I'll do an occasional update with notable milestones throughout the season, but not as frequently as during his migration.

April 21, 2015
Donovan and his mate have eggs. She was sitting tight yesterday afternoon (in pouring rain) indicating that she has at least one egg. Up at Art's nest, he and Guin also have eggs and started sitting beginning yesterday, so Art and Donovan (as in previous years) are on a very similar schedule. Once again all of Donovan's recent data shows that he is staying very close to home and finding plenty of fish along the Winnipesaukee River right in Tilton. The incubation period for Ospreys is 37-40 days, so we can expect chicks at the end of May.

Incubating eggs - April 21, 2015

April 18, 2015
Donovan is now fishing closer to home and attending to his husbandly duties. He hasn't visited Milford since Monday (13th) so obviously the local waters have opened up and warmed up enough for fish to be close to the surface -- where Ospreys can catch them. They should be sitting on eggs any day now. In 2014 she laid their first egg on April 20. Other pairs around the Lakes Region are settling in although there seem to be a few late birds. I watched one male on Thursday flying with a fish between his 2014 nest on a platform and his 2013 nest on an electric pylon. He was clearly looking for his female (or any female) so that he could show off his fish and lure her to the nest.

Donovan - April 18, 2015

April 14, 2015
Donovan is still commuting to Milford every day (!) which leaves his mate all alone at the nest for much of the day. On Monday, there were three extra male Ospreys causing havoc in the area. There was lots of chirping and attempts to land on the nest. The female was sending mixed messages by both alarming and food begging (she's obviously hungry). She finally saw them off and went fishing for herself. Donovan's data shows that he left the nest at 9am and did not return until 3pm -- hopefully with a nice tasty trout for his lady. Hopefully the spring (finally) weather will allow him to fish closer to home and he can pay more attention to nest building and mating. Photos below show two of the intruding males coming in for another pass, and a close up of one.

Donovan - April 14, 2015

Male intruders at Donovan's nest

Closeup of male intruder at Donovan's nest

April 8, 2015
Donovan has been putting on a lot of miles on his fishing trips. He went back to the Milford area (likely to the fish hatchery) on April 4, 5 and 6. Yesterday and today he was fishing much closer to home along the Winnipesaukee River, so hopefully he's finding some fish there.

Donovan - April 8, 2015

Donovan fishing April 7 and 8

April 6, 2015
Well Donovan didn't waste any time getting back home. After spending the night near Old Lyme in southern Connecticut, he was headed north again by 10 am on April 2. He stopped off at the Milford Fish Hatchery (as he did last year) at 2pm and then continued on north arriving at his nest at 5pm on Thursday afternoon. He was foraging in the local area (along the Winnipesaukee River) on Friday, but my guess is that he was not having much luck, as on Saturday he retraced his steps back to Milford and beyond (perhaps to a pond in northern Massachusetts) -- a round trip of nearly 100 miles. He did exactly the same thing last year when he arrived home to a chilly Lakes Region, On Sunday he was foraging on the Merrimack River south of Franklin. At 3:45 he was back at his nest with his mate loudly food-begging next to him.

Donovan - April 15, 2015

Donovan - April 5, 2015 in New Hampshire

Donovan and his mate
As soon as Donovan and his mate reunite at the nest, they start the process of making baby Ospreys.

April 3, 2015
We had multiple reports that Ospreys were back at Donovan’s nest in Tilton this morning. So it seems likely that Donovan (and his mate) have returned. We will try to check this afternoon and get a photo of Donovan. Iain also checked Art’s nest in Bridgewater this morning and found his regular mate (now named Guin) working on the nest. Art and Guin are Artoo’s parents. There was no sign of Art, but he may well be back and just away fishing during the 20 minutes that Iain was there. Here is a photo of Guin spring cleaning.

Female osprey at nest in Bridgewater, NH

April 2, 2015
Donovan made a big push over the last couple days. He was on his way by 10am on March 31 and by 11am was well into Virginia. He crossed the Potomac in early afternoon and reached Philadelphia by 5pm. He roosted just north of the city near Fort Washington having covered 319 miles (514km) in the day. At 10am on the 1st, he was perched next to Loch Ash Reservoir near Ambler, but by 11am he was cruising north-east again. He passed right over Newark, Jersey City and Manhattan in the mid-afternoon and kept going until 7pm when he was near Old Lyme on the Connecticut coast (an Osprey haven). He spent the night near Dunk’s Island having moved another 171 miles (275km). Now what? Most of New Hampshire is still frozen, so will he hang out on the coast for a while or try to head back to his nest? He’s 157 miles (252km) from his nest, so he could do that in a day, but I suspect he might wait until the weekend.

Meanwhile down in Brazil, Artoo surprised us by leaving sooner than expected. He was on his way on March 31 and had already moved 167 miles (270km) north by the end of the day on the 1st.

Donovan - April 2, 2015

March 31, 2015
Donovan is making steady progress, but is not in too much of a hurry – just as well . . . more snow in NH today!! March 28 was a poor upload day and we are missing a bunch of points in the morning, but he obviously set off fairly early as by 1pm he was 100km to the north-east of his March 27 roost site. By 8pm he was another 50km north near High Falls in Moore County, North Carolina. He spent all of the 29th in that area fishing on little ponds and roosted in the same spot. He left shortly after noon on the 30th and was on his way again and by 5pm was perched next to small pond 130 km north near Williamsboro in Vance County, just about 15 km from the border with Virginia.

Donovan - March 30, 2015

March 28, 2015
Donovan left his little pond in Colquitt County, Georgia shortly after 11am on the 25th. By 1pm he was perched next to a small pond on the outskirts of the town of Tifton, GA, but was on his way again by 2pm. By 4pm he was perched next to a small pond on a farm just west of Fitzgerald in Ben Hill county. At 6pm he was perched on a large piece of irrigation equipment in the field just south of the pond. He roosted next to another pond just north of the farm house and was still here at 10am the next morning. By 11, he was well on his way again, 330m up and cruising north at 32kmph. I’m missing a bunch on GPS points for the bulk of the 26th, but by 7pm he was perched next to a nice little pond 376km north in Lancaster County, S. Carolina. He spent the night there and all of the next day. His last point at 6pm on the 27th showed he was perched next to a nearby pond.
Donovan never ceases to impress me with his synchronicity. At 6pm on the 27th he was just 36km from his location at 6pm on March 27, 2014!!!

Donovan - March 28 comparison, 2015 and 2014

Donovan - March 28, 2015

March 27, 2015
Donovan logged in today from South Carolina. He was having a late lunch next to a pond just east of Fishing Creek Lake, near Lancaster, just 15 miles from the border of North Carolina.

March 24, 2015
Donovan is taking a little break in southern Georgia. He left the coast of Florida a little after 10am on the 21st and headed north and by 3pm had traveled 117km over the border into Georgia and had settled on a small pond just east of Spence Airport near Moultrie in Colquitt County. He has been there ever since. He did the same thing last year – found a little rural pond and rested for a couple days. He’s now about 1,700km (1,078 miles) from his nest. I stopped by his nest yesterday and it is in great shape after the winter . . . but it’s still very wintry here.

Donovan - March 24, 2015

Donovan - March 24, 2015

Donovan's Nest - March 24, 2015

March 21, 2015
Just like last year, Donovan tried to avoid Florida (!). He spent a couple days on the outskirts of Havana, but moved further west another 100km on the afternoon of the 19th. He stopped off on a lovely little river just south-west of the town of Honda where he spent the night. He was still there at 10am on 20th, but by 11am was 30km to the north over open water, 480m up and cruising at 27kph. There must be something at the immigration and customs offices in southern Florida he doesn’t like as he did exactly what he did last spring and went directly from western Cuba to the pan-handle. His last GPS point of this upload showed him making steady progress through the night. His most recent non-GPS, Doppler points from 8am on the 21st shows that he completed to near 500 mile (790km) over water crossing and was safely back in the U.S. He is two days ahead of last year. You can see that his flight timing was very similar – leaving Cuba between 10 and 11am and making steady progress through the night. Last year it took him just 12 days to get from the Gulf coast to his nest. Take your time Donovan . . . it’s snowing again in New Hampshire!!

Donovan - March 21, 2015

Donovan - 2015 to 2014 comparison from Cuba

March 18, 2015
Donovan, just like last year, has headed for the outskirts of Havana, Cuba. He hung out here for several days last March before continuing north. Now we’ll see if he does the same crazy “over the Gulf” flight that he did last year rather than taking the short crossing to southern Florida.

Donovan - March 18, 2015

Donovan - Havana, Cuba on March 18, 2015

Donovan - March 18, 2015 comparison to 2014 flight over the Gulf of Mexico

March 17, 2015
Several of the other tracked Ospreys are also on the move. Donovan is leading the race (for now), but others have already put on some miles. Ron is making up his own rules. Instead of flying to Haiti or Cuba he somehow headed for Belize. Rob has never had an Osprey do this. He flew continuously over water for 35 hours and covered 1,000 miles straight from Colombia. Ron is an experienced adult male, so he knows the “correct route” and took it last year when we followed him, so why he went this way is a complete mystery. Rob is very intrigued to see what he does now. You can follow along at this very cool interactive map: Or you can download the smartphone app and follow directly from your phone. Download at:

All Ospreys - March 17, 2015

March 16, 2015
After hanging out for a couple of days in northern Venezuela, Donovan headed over to Aruba and started his crossing over to Haiti during the late afternoon of March 12. He reached Haiti at 10am on March 13 and didn’t even stop to roost or feed. He kept on moving throughout the next day. At 6pm on the 13th he was still moving (26kph) and about to cross the Great Antilles Ridge over to Cuba. His first point on the 14th (at 6am) was on Cuba. I suspect he flew through the night again before finally stopping to roost. Since leaving Venezuela he had flown 1,300 km in one nonstop flight in 36 hours. Pretty impressive. A close look at the data shows that he is following very closely to his schedule of last year. He left Aruba shortly before 5pm on March 12. Last year he left Aruba on the same date just before 3pm (now that’s planning). Once he reached Haiti, he quickly picked up the same path over to and through Cuba.

Donovan - March 15, 2015

Donovan - Spring Migration Comparison

Donovan - Spring Migration Comparison

March 12, 2015
Hot off the presses: Donovan began his spring migration right on cue. This morning he was near the Venezuelan coast. He joins Belle, Snowy, and Ron who are also on their way north.

Donovan - March 13, 2015

February 24, 2015
All quite from Donovan, but a couple other birds have started to stir. The map below shows the current positions of all the Satellite-tagged Ospreys. Snowy has already started her trip north and Edwin made a start and then retreated back into Brazil. Obviously spring is coming and soon all these birds will be heading back to the US. I don’t expect Donovan to start his return until around March 10. You can follow the migration at this interactive map:

February 2015 Migration

January 5, 2015
Happy New Year to all our OspreyTrack fans . . . and to our Ospreys, Donovan, Artoo and Bridget.
Donovan is a creature of habit. This new map shows his activities this winter (so far) compared to last winter. As you can see he is following the expected pattern for adults that once they find a safe and productive winter territory, they return to it each year. They have a winter home and a summer home . . . and a long commute between them. Last year Donovan started back towards New Hampshire on March 10, so he’s still got a couple months to hang out in Venezuela.

Donovan Winter 2013 and 2014

October 29, 2014
Nothing new from Donovan. His activities will be very routine and uneventful for the rest of the winter. He’ll just commute back and forth the short distance between his favorite fishing spots,  so I’ll only post updates if he does anything out of the ordinary.  

October 17, 2014
Donovan safely arrived back at his winter vacation home on October 12 and has been frequenting his old haunts (the exact same trees and fishing holes) as last winter.

Donovan October 17 2014

October 11, 2014
Donovan left Isla Saona on the south-east corner of the Dominican Republic at 8am on October 8 and arrived near Aguide in Venezuela at 11:30am on October 9 (753 km trip). There are some points  missing between 5pm on the 8th and 11am on the 9th so I suspect that he stopped off on the island of Curacao. He quickly got his bearings and headed south and rested near a river overnight. On the 10th he went another 200 km and was on the move again by 10am on Saturday. By 2pm he was about 146 km of his winter home on the Rio Claro, so may make it back late Saturday or on Sunday.


October 10, 2014
Donovan spend just a couple days near Santo Domingo before moving to the eastern end of The Dominican Republic. Rather than heading for Puerto Rico (as he did last year) he ended up on Isla Saona in the “Eastern National Park”. He spent his last night in D.R. here and headed out across the Caribbean the next morning. There were no GPS points (in the latest download) for October 8 but there were three less-accurate Argos points which show that he was making good progress and by 1:30pm he was about 270km into his crossing with 475km to go before he made landfall in Venezuela. He likely would have reached dry land by nightfall. Once again he is well coordinated with his schedule last year. His first attempt to cross from St. Croix last year was on October 9. Last year he aborted that attempt and returned to Puerto Rico and tried again successfully on October 18. Last year, once he reached the Venezuela coast, it only took him 3 days to reach his winter home on the Rio Claro.

Donovan October

October 2, 2014
Donovan is in the Dominican Republic. Amazingly his location at 3pm on October 1, was 21km from where he was at 3pm on October 1, 2013!! Now that’s planning. His latest non-GPS data point from today suggests that, like last year, he is headed for Santa Domingo where last year he hung out for a couple days.

Donovan - October 2, 2014

October 1, 2014
Donovan made a quick overnight crossing over to Cuba on night of 26th and 27th and is quickly tracking through the island. By late on the 29th he was well into eastern Cuba and I suspect that by now he is in Haiti. Will he head for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after that? . . . or head straight to Venezuela?

Donovan - October 1, 2014

September 26, 2014
Donovan quickly headed down through Florida and is poised to fly to Cuba . . . I suspect he is headed that way right now. He spent the night of September 23-24 in the middle of Orlando and then spent last night on the shore of a pond in the middle of Fort Lauderdale – likes the urban ponds I guess!! He is a day ahead of last year’s schedule. Last year he went to Cuba by passing over the southern islands of the Bahamas. What’s your plan this year Donovan?

Donovan- September 26, 2014

September 23, 2014
Donovan is now in southern Georgia and has met up with his 2013 fall migration route. So far his 2014 route has been more coastal than last year. He has reached that same point a couple days ahead of last year, despite leaving a day later. It will be interesting to see if he follows his 2013 route for the rest of the way south.

Donovan - September 23, 2014

September 20, 2014
As I suspected he might, Donovan left New Hampshire on Thursday (18th) and has quickly zipped down the east coast. On his way south he skirted around Pack Monadnock Raptor Migration Observatory (a coordinated annual fall hawk watch that I started when I worked for NH Audubon) I was there the day before counting over 1,100 hawks (including Ospreys). He was just north of the watch site in Miller State Park at 1pm and to the south-east at 2pm, so I don’t know exactly what route he took, but the straight line between the two point was about 2 miles to the east of the mountain. He spent his first night on the road perched next to Dodge Pond in Niantic on the CT coast. His last point for the day was at 9pm. By 9am on Friday he was 328 kilometers away on Cape May! There are some GPS points missing (that will fill in later today as the last uploads trickle in) but that suggests that he flew through the night. Typically a migrating Osprey roosts through the night; wrapping up the day’s migration at about 7pm and starting up again at 7am the next morning. Donovan could not have covered 320+ kilometers in two hours of flying, so he must have pushed on through the night. By 1pm he was in Maryland and by 7pm was perched just next to Lake Drummond in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. He spent the night there and was still there at 9am on Saturday. By 11am he was well into North Carolina and moving quickly on a SW course. By 5pm he was near Winnabow (just west of Wilmington, NC) and still moving fast (42kph) and over 1,100 km from his nest. Assuming he continued for at least another couple hours on Saturday, he would have been in S. Carolina before dark. Incidentally as he passed by Cape May, he could have shared air space with his son Tilton (who was still there on Thursday). Maybe Tilton will follow his dad’s lead and jump back on the Osprey highway.

Donovan - September 20, 2014

September 18, 2014
Donovan is getting ready to leave. All of his points since the 14th have been at his favorite fishing spots in Franklin. He paid perhaps his last visit to the nest on the 14th. Last year he began his migration on the 17th, so he is right in that window for heading south. We know he will head back to his winter home near the Orinoco River in Venezuela, but what will be his route? Via the Virgin Islands?

Donovan - September 8, 2014

September 2, 2014
Donovan is still “home.” He spends most of his time on the river in Franklin, but at least once a day stops in at the nest. I stopped by yesterday briefly and did not see any Ospreys there, so I strongly suspect that his mate has left for the season and likely Bridget’s sibling too.

August 27, 2014
Donovan is winding down his summer breeding season. We know that Tilton is well on his way south, but perhaps the other chick is still hanging around the nest. My guess is that his mate has already headed south. Last year Donovan started his south-bound journey on September 17, so I suspect he’ll be here for a couple more weeks – although several other satellite-tagged males have already hit the road. I’m really curious to see if Donovan follows the same route he took last year through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands before crossing to Venezuela. We’ll soon find out.

Donovan - August 27, 2014

July 9, 2014
Donovan is fishing for two chicks (and his mate). The chicks are looking very healthy and all is going well. Donovan is wearing a path between the nest and his favorite fishing hole just south of Franklin. He is there pretty much every day. You can see the flight lines between his points have completely filled in between the two locations.

Elsewhere in the Lakes Region, the nest productivity has been mixed. 14 nests were occupied by Osprey pairs, all 14 laid eggs; 9 hatched at least 19 chicks.

Donovan - July 9, 2014

June 3, 2014
Donovan and his mate have hatched chicks. The babies are too small to get a head count, but the female’s behavior on Sunday was a giveaway that eggs have turned into little Ospreys. Below is a new map showing all of Donovan’s travels since he arrived back in April. He’s generally following the same pattern as last year, although he has been making some trips over to Webster Lake in Franklin (which he didn’t visit at all last year). At least two other male Ospreys from nearby nests fish on that lake. He has also made multiple trips to Hunkin’s Pond in Sanbornton in the last couple weeks, so there must be something good over there (only one point last year near that pond). It’s been a very uneventful incubation period (which is good). Our old friend Art (who we followed last year and 2012) at the nest in Bridgewater, has also hatched chicks. I saw at least two little heads yesterday under the female.

Donovan - June 3, 2014

May 8, 2014
Donovan is keeping very close to home right now. Most of his fishing is within a mile of the nest. He’s only made a couple trips over to the Merrimack River in Franklin where he spent a great deal of time during the latter half of last season. He has also made a couple trips to Sondogardy Pond in Northfield (another spot he visited last year). He’s been taking plenty of turns incubating the eggs and everything seems to be progressing well. We can expect hatch right around the end of May.

Donovan - May 8, 2014

April 24, 2014
Donovan and his mate have quickly settled down and as of April 20, were already sitting on at least one egg. By now they will have a complete clutch (likely 3 eggs) and for the next 35 days or so, one of them will be sitting tight keeping the eggs warm. The female does about 80% of the incubation, with Donovan taking a couple shifts each day. His major task is bringing food for himself and his mate. Up in Bridgewater, Art and his mate are also incubating eggs. They too were sitting on April 20.

April 10, 2014
Donovan’s mate is back too and the pair immediately got down to house repairs. The photo below was taken by Jack Dorsey and shows Donovan to the right bringing lining to the nest where his mate awaits. Amazingly, on Monday Donovan flew all the way back to that pond in Milford that he visited on the 3rd and 4th. He obviously had good fishing success there . . . but that’s an 84 mile round trip for a fish. Obviously the cold waters around the Lakes Region are not offering a lot of easy fish right now. I’m delighted to report that our old friend Art (who we followed on his migration last year) returned to his nest in Bridgewater on Monday. His regular mate also returned and they immediately got down to nest building. We’ll add a photo or two to Art’s page.

Donovan - APril 10, 2014

April 7, 2014
Donovan left the little pond just north of Allentown just after 10am on Wednesday and pushed on another 175 miles before roosting in a wooded area near Shelburne Falls in Massachusetts. At 9am on the 3rd he was perched next to the Bridge of Flowers (Rt. 2) bridge in Shelburne Falls, 82 miles from home. By 10am he was well on his way west. I suspect the strong north-west wind slowed him down and he didn’t make the big push home. At 1 pm he was fishing along a small pond near West Townsend, MA. By 3pm he was perched again on a pond just west of Milford, NH and by 4pm was just south of Goffstown. By 5pm he was perched next to a little pond right next to I-93 in Concord. At 9pm he was roosting on a tree just below the Loudon Road Bridge on the Merrimack River in Concord. By 9am on the 4th he had doubled back south and was 8.5 miles away near Dunbarton and by 10am had returned to the small pond in Milford where he stayed for a couple hours. I’m guessing he caught a fish there the day before and returned for breakfast. At noon he was hunting along a wetland next to Rt. 3 just south of New Boston. He was at his nest at 2pm. After fishing along the Winnipesaukee River (obviously where he caught the fish that I saw him eating at 5pm), he headed over to Franklin and roosted next to the Merrimack River a little over 4 miles from his nest. At 10am on Saturday, he was fishing along the Winnipesaukee River just behind Staples in Tilton.

Donovan - April 7, 2014

April 4, 2014
Donovan was a no-show yesterday (with the WMUR-Channel 9 cameras standing by), but was seen back at his nest today. I’ll have new data tonight and will have a new map, showing the final leg of his journey, on Monday.

April 2, 2014
Donovan is on the home stretch. He’s made good progress in the last couple days. Yesterday, he made a big push of 285 miles as he breezes through Virginia and Maryland and into Pennsylvania. As of this morning he had 259 miles to home, so he could arrive late this afternoon or tomorrow morning. At 10am he was perched next to a small pond 20 miles north-east of Allentown, PA, so I suspect he was having breakfast. I’ll be there to welcome him home tomorrow morning.

Donovan - April 2, 2014

March 27, 2014
Donovan took a day off in Georgia. He hung around the small ponds east of Cuthbert in Georgia for a whole day to fuel up and then continued north-east yesterday (26th) ending the day another 140 miles closer to home on another small pond just north of Sandersville in Washington County, Georgia. My guess is he will continue today passing near Augusta and crossing into South Carolina. I checked his nest over the weekend and it looks in good shape after the winter. It helps that he’s using a nest that I built for him on a platform I installed for him, so it is well secured with wire mesh and screws. There is open water on the nearby Winnipesaukee River and on another of his favorite fishing spots on Silver Lake. The Merrimack River is open too in Boscawen where he also fished last year, so although the landscape is locked in three feet of snow and ice, he should be able to find dinner when he arrives . . . next week?

Donovan - March 27, 2014

March 25, 2014
Donovan made a crazy flight through a whole day and night from Havana to the Florida pan handle (490 miles+). Who knows why he didn’t take the normal land route through Florida. He hung out in downtown Havana for a day and a half fishing along a small river. He headed out at 10am on the 22nd and headed due north out into the Straits of Florida. He flew throughout the day and took a marked jog to the west at 6pm. For the next two hours he continued west (!) but had corrected back to a more northerly track by 10pm (in the dark). He obviously kept going throughout the night and by his next point at 10am on the 23rd, he had made landfall near Port St. Joe on Cape San Blas in western Florida. He rested there for a couple hours and fished along a narrow drainage ditch, then resumed his northbound push, ending the day on a small pond 10 miles south of Chattahoochee. The next morning he flew up to the Chattahoochee River, then continued north into Georgia. He ended the day on a small pond just east of Cuthbert in Randolph County in Georgia a little more than a 1,000 miles from home in Tilton.

Donovan - March 25, 2014

March 21, 2014
Donovan surprised me and decided to hang out in a Cuba for a couple more days. As of this morning he was in the middle of Havana (!) which concerns me a little bit (stay away from people!). He was fishing along a riparian green belt in the middle of the city. I’m glad he’s not rushing home (we got another foot of snow here in New Hampshire yesterday), but I’d prefer he loitered in Florida.

Donovan - March 21, 2014

March 18, 2014
Donovan is making rapid progress through Cuba and by the end of the day yesterday (Monday) had reached the north coast about 50 miles east of Havana. He will likely make the 100 mile crossing to Florida today.

Donovan - March 18, 2014

March 13, 2014
STOP PRESS: Donovan has started his long journey home to Tilton. He left his winter home next to the Rio Claro on Monday morning and made his way quickly up to the coast of Venezuela. He kept on trucking and flew over Aruba and out into the Caribbean for a nighttime crossing. As of 6pm yesterday he was a third of the way across. He should have made landfall in Haiti this morning. Donovan really shouldn’t hurry. New Hampshire is not a very inviting place for an Osprey right now, with all open water frozen, his nest covered in snow and the state in the midst of another blizzard now. He can take a leisurely trip up the east coast.

Donovan - March 13, 2014

February 22, 2014
Donovan has not moved outside his core area in the last month. He commutes between two fishing spots about 4.5 miles apart. Just like Art last year, the winter vacation of an adult male is uneventful and predictable. Maybe in three weeks he’ll get the urge to move north.

Donovan - February 22, 2014

February 13, 2014
All quiet from Donovan. In the last two weeks he has done nothing but commute the five miles between his two favorite fishing spots. In another month, he’ll get the urge to head north. I am curious to see whether Donovan makes his return trip via the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico or whether he takes the “usual” Osprey route over to Hispaniola.

January 2, 2014
Nothing much new from Donovan or any of our New Hampshire birds. All settled and quiet. This map shows the current known locations of 15 Ospreys being tracked right now with PTTs. The three juveniles (Artoo, Bergen, and Whit) will stay down in South America throughout 2014, but the other 12 (all adults) will return to North America in March/April. It’s going to be a busy spring.

All tracked Ospreys - December 31, 2013

December 2, 2013
Donovan and Artoo remain close neighbors, but apparently have not crossed paths. Their respective favorite fishing spots are about 20 miles apart. Transmitter uploads have been as regular as clockwork every three days, so it’s been a relaxing few weeks for me. Donovan often spends entire days perched in one spot on the Rio Claro, perhaps just moving from one side of the river to the other; maybe only a couple hundred yards all day. He obviously is able to find all he needs at this one spot. Not a bad life!

Artoo an dDonovan - NOvember 30, 2013

November 12, 2013
All is well with Donovan. He’s hanging out in a small area and clearly in winter vacation mode.

November 8, 2013
Donovan logged in on schedule and, surprise, surprise, he’s not doing much. Nice strong data uploads from the same spot. This map shows the locations of our three remaining New Hampshire Ospreys on Nov. 7.

Donovan, Bergen, and Artoo - November 8, 2013\

November 5, 2013
Donovan logged in right on time and is following his daily routine. It will be interesting to see if Artoo encroaches on his territory or sticks at his 12-20 mile distance. Donovan would likely see him off if he paid him a visit.

November 1, 2013
Donovan logged in too...same spot. He's in winter vacation mode...wake up, catch fish, sit in sun, sleep...repeat daily for five months! :)

October 29, 2013
Donovan and Artoo are neighbors for the time being. Artoo has settled down less than 20 miles from Donovan and they are both obviously enjoying the rich and numerous wetlands here. Donovan I’m sure is on his winter territory and will stay here until March, but we’ll see if this is a temporary stopover for Artoo, or whether this is the end of his migration.

Donovan & Artoo - October 29, 2013

October 28, 2013
Donovan is clearly “home” and is spending most of his time on the Rio Claro, with daily trips to the Rio Cunaviche 23 miles to the north and one trip to the Rio Capanaparo 18 miles to the south. Google Earth has a photo of the exact spot on the Capanaparo where Donovan visited. A little bit different from the Pemigewasset and Merrimack Rivers in New Hampshire, but as long as there are fish, an Osprey feels at home.

Donovan - Rio Capanaparo

Donovan & Artoo - OCtober 25, 2013

October 23, 2013
It looks like Donovan is back at his winter vacation spot. After his week-long staging in Puerto Rico, he wasted no time getting back “home” once he crossed to Venezuela. On the 20th he moved more than 220 miles SW into the great Orinoco River basin and is now stopped along a major tributary that I believe is called Rio Claro. It looks like a great spot – a maze of rivers and swamps, no doubt teeming with fish – and anacondas and whole host of tropical wildlife. I expect he will stop here, but we’ll see.

Donovan - October 23, 2013

October 22, 2013
Here are a couple maps for Donovan. One shows his crossing from Puerto Rico to Venezuela (via St. Croix). The other shows his rapid progress into the interior of Venezuela. He’s now in the mighty Orinoco river basin. Is he going to stay in Venezuela or head into Colombia?

Donovan - October 22, 2013

Donovan in Venezuela

October 20, 2013
Donovan left Ponce by 10am on 17th went to Vieques then back to St. Croix by 4pm then straight through the night across sea to Venezuela. Donovan made landfall late pm of 18th after 661mile (1064km) flight. He rested along river near coast then 65 miles on 19th. Headed S. now.

October 18, 2013
Donovan has been hanging around Ponce on Puerto Rico for a week. He actually passed over here on October 7 (without apparently stopping) as he was headed for the Virgin Islands. He arrived back here after his aborted trip across the Caribbean and stopped on October 10. He spent a lot of time fishing along Rio Portugues just below a large dam (just like one of his favorite fishing spots in Franklin, NH). His last point of yesterday was well to the east of town at 1,500 feet, so I suspect that was him heading out. I have no idea where he is going to go now or where he eventually wants to end up – back to the Virgin Islands?, over to Venezuela? We’ll see next download.

Donovan - October 17, 2013

October 14, 2013
Donovan is still fishing along various streams and rivers in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He seems pretty settled here right now.

October 11, 2013
Donovan is looking a little lost (which is unlike an adult). After his tour of the Virgin Islands, he headed south across the Caribbean from St. Croix. He went 135 miles before turning around and heading back to Puerto Rico. I assume he encountered some head winds that prompted him to turn back. He spent yesterday near the town of Ponce in southern Puerto Rico and roosted next to a major highway in the middle of the town. I think he roosted on a light tower over the highway. It always makes me a little nervous when our birds are in heavily built up areas, but he certainly is used to that around his nest next to I-93 in Tilton.

Donovan - October 11, 2013

October 8, 2013
Donovan is taking the island hopping route through the Caribbean. He crossed from The Dominican Republic over to Puerto Rico on October 6. He zipped through Puerto Rico and skipped over to the Virgin Islands on the 7th. He roosted last night on St. John and by 1 pm today was on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Looks like he is going to continue skipping from island to island. Remember he is an adult bird who has made this migration before, so he knows where he is going. I’ve often thought that this route would be safer than the D.R. to South America crossing that most Ospreys take. So, where is his winter home?

Donovan - October 8, 2013

October 7, 2013
Donovan is moving steadily along. He “cut the corner off” the flight over to Cuba by leaving from the east coast of Florida and skirting over the Bahamas on September 27. He crossed over to Haiti on September 30 and arrived just north of Santa Domingo, in the Dominican Republic on October 2. He has been fishing along the Rio Haina, with a couple trips over to the east side of Santa Domingo. He looks fairly at home here. It is unlikely that he will stay here, but maybe this is a regular stop off spot for him prior to crossing the Caribbean Sea.

Donovan - October 5, 2013

October 1, 2013
A quick update from Iain: New maps coming later in the week (I've been out of town). Here is a quick overview. Artoo is in Cuba and Bergen was on southern tip of Florida (likely has crossed to Cuba now). Both moving along nicely. Weber is heading east in northern Venezuela. So our three NH chicks are leading the pack of eight in the "class of 2013." Three of the eight have died so far, so our trio is beating the odds. Donovan is in the Dominican Republic and will be crossing the Caribbean in the next couple days. The sad news to report is that we lost Mackenzie. His signal stopped more than a week ago and yesterday I found his remains next to Head Pond in Berlin. He had been predated. All evidence points to Great Horned Owl -- the Osprey's "public enemy #1" The Movebank maps show all the details.

September 20, 2013
Donovan set off on his migration just after 11 am on September 17 and by 8 pm was perched next to Candlewood Lake near New Milford, CT. The next day, he quickly travelled through New York and ended the day on Lake Nockamixon in Bucks County, PA. He roosted on a cell tower near there. Next day he booked it through southern PA and through northern Maryland and ended the day on Goose Creek Reservoir just outside Ashburn in N. Virginia. He’s travelled a leisurely 448 miles in three days.

Donovan - September 20, 2013

September 11, 2013
Donovan is still on his summer territory. At 9pm yesterday, he was perched on the Pemi just south of the hydro station in Franklin. He is still visiting the nest occasionally and perhaps one of his chicks is still demanding food, but likely his mate has started her migration. I imaging he will start heading south in the next week.

September 6, 2013
Donovan is still visiting the nest and feeding at least one chick. I stopped by the nest on Tuesday, and one chick was still sitting in the nest waiting for the next meal. I suspect the others have left. Maybe this cool front will nudge the migration urge.

August 29, 2013
Donovan is in his usual area and has not started his migration yet. He still spends most of his time fishing along the Merrimack south of Franklin, with occasional visits to the nest. I haven’t had a chance to check the nest recently, so I don’t know whether any of his three chicks are still around. I suspect they are, and he will continue to bring them fish until they depart.

July 30, 2013
Donovan’s three chicks are all flying well and perching on the pond next to nest – although still food begging on the nest (and making a constant racket). Donovan continues to fish almost exclusively along the Merrimack south of Franklin. The map shows all of Donovan’s and Art’s points this summer. I also added locations of all the other Osprey nests I monitor in the Lakes Region and how many chicks they produced. It was a very productive year for Ospreys in this area. Art managed to not cross the airspace over any of his neighbors, but Donovan occasionally commutes past his nearest neighbors in Belmont and Laconia when he fishes on Lake Winnisquam and up to Opechee. Art and Donovan apparently didn’t meet up all summer.

Art and Donovan's territories summer 2013

July 16, 2013
All is going well at Donovan’s nest. The 3 chicks are huge and healthy and will be flying in a week or so. Donovan was sighted down in Boscawen on Saturday. Local birder/photographer Debbie LaValley snapped a shot (see below) of an Osprey perched on a tree near “Crete Farm” and noticed his antennae. She reported it on the NH Bird Listserv and asked if anyone knew if the transmitter was still live. I of course quickly responded, knowing that it would be Donovan. His data confirmed that it was him and that he has visited here often in the last few weeks – this is right at the southern edge of his current range. On Sunday at 1pm I saw him deliver a huge trout to the nest. The last data point of his most recent download shows that he was over on the Pemi in Franklin at 11am, so I assume that that was where that trout came from.

Donovan July 13, 2013

July 2, 2013
Donovan and his mate are rearing three healthy chicks, demonstrating that they are experienced parents with a good nest in a prime location. Donovan is spending most of his time fishing over on the Merrimack River all the way down to Penacook! That is further than I would have thought, but these transmitters are always revealing surprises. He has made a few trips north-east even as far as Weirs Beach. In those eastward wanderings he goes right by/over two other active Osprey nests (one with two chicks and one with one). They probably don’t like his presence and he may get chased by the neighboring males. Perhaps that’s why he favors the river.

Donovan June 28, 2013

June 12, 2013
Iain is in Scotland leading a Nature Tour for the Science Center (and visiting some old Osprey friends in Scotland), so there won’t be an update until he returns on June 28. By then all the chicks should be well grown and Iain will have lots of exciting new data and maps to add to the pages.

June 4, 2013
I counted at least 2 chicks being fed on Sunday morning. Donovan continues to show a strong east to west oriented territory. On Sunday he went all the way down the Merrimack River to Boscawen (a new area since we fitted his transmitter). He’s also making regular trips to the southern edge on Lake Winnisquam.

Donovan - june 4, 2013

May 30, 2013
Donovan is a dad! His mate was feeding at least one chick on Sunday morning (after a freak snow storm the night before dropped an inch of wet snow – crazy!). The other two eggs will hopefully have now hatched. Donovan will step up his fishing trips to supply the nest with enough fish for the always-hungry chicks. Donovan was checking out his new offspring on Monday – he was very curious about what was under his mate.

Donovan - May 26, 2013

May 20, 2013
The map below shows Donovan’s movements from May 13-18. He obviously has a favorite fishing spot in Franklin just below where the Winnipesaukee River joins the Pemigewasset to form the Merrimack River. He also fishes on Silver Lake, along the Winnipesaukee River, and up to Lake Winnisquam near Laconia. Last year his daughter Jill and son Chip visited all of these areas shortly after they fledged, no doubt following dad and learning how this fishing game works.

Donovan - May 18, 2013