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Project OspreyTrack: Jill Map

October 17, 2012
Here is Jill’s last map showing where she was headed. She was deep in the Guianan Highlands of Northern Brazil with more cloud-shrouded mountains ahead including the 8,202 foot Sera Imeri towards the left of the range. The yellow line beyond is the location of the equator just 40 miles to the south.

Jill October 17

October 11, 2012
No more signals from Jill’s transmitter, so we have to accept the worst. My best guess is that she landed in the jungle canopy to avoid bad weather and was predated. There are all kinds of jungle cats down there including jaguars as well as huge forest eagles, so there are plenty of candidates. A sad, but likely all too common end to the first migration of an Osprey.

October 9, 2012
I'm very worried about Jill (and Chip). After doing so well, her luck may have run out. But I'm not giving up hope yet; I'm hanging onto a weather related issue as an optimistic scenario. I only got one very poor download of data late on Sunday (normally on the allotted 3rd day, we get three attempted downloads throughout the day). Jill's one download was very late in the day and her points were very worrying and the previous day's data was very patchy. She was going along well on October 4 and was close to the Brazilian border at 2pm. There are then no more GPS points until 3 pm on October 6. The less accurate Argos-none-GPS data suggests that she continued over the border into Brazil on the 4th. There are several GPS points on October 6 and 7, but all in the same place (just over the border in Brazil). All of the points are static (same altitude and zero speed, but the locations are slightly different but within the range of accuracy for a single GPS point). My hope is that she was grounded by bad weather. There was a huge mass of cloud and heavy rain sweeping over a huge area of South America for the previous three days. It seemed to finally clear Jill's location late on the 7th (Sunday). It is possible that the solar cell was not getting any sun and the battery was low. That would explain the lack of uploads earlier in the day. Once the sun came out again on Sunday, the battery charged enough to send a signal of the latest data (but not the earlier points). Hopefully she just perched and waiting for the weather to pass. The other scenario of course is that she is dead and the transmitter just sent its last signal. Of course I have to wait until Wednesday morning for another possible download. While this was going on, Chip decided to leave Rhode Island and he is in trouble (see his map page), so Sunday was a very stressful day/night.

Jill October 8

October 4, 2012
Jill is still heading deeper into South America. She has travelled at least another 835 miles since she made landfall in Colombia. After spending a couple days exploring Venezuela (in the vast watershed of the Orinoco River) she crossed back into eastern Colombia and then back into southern Venezuela. She is now deep in the Amazon rainforest only 85 miles from the Brazilian border in some very remote territory with many rivers that flow into the Amazon River. She is within the huge Serranía de la Neblina National Park that along with the Parima Tapirapecó National Park and the Pico da Neblina National Park in Brazil encompasses about 80,000 km², “possibly the largest national park system in tropical rainforests in the world.” This would be a good place to settle down . . . if you are an Osprey. In 25 days, she has travelled from Tilton, NH to the Amazon; 3,900 miles – without a day off!

Jill October 4

October 3, 2012
Jill is in Venezuela. There is no stopping this girl. She has traveled another 500+ miles since she arrived on the coast of Colombia and is now well into Venezuela and heading south. I think she likes the idea of the Amazon. She has lingered along some nice looking riparian areas where she is obviously fishing. Interestingly, she passed within 8 miles of Snowy – a male Osprey tagged on Martha’s Vineyard last year. He settled in this part of Venezuela and has been hanging out in a small area since last October. Jill still has the urge to head south.

Jill October 3

Jill Near Snowy, October 3

In a sad turn of events it looks like Cutch (an adult male from Long Island who was traveling closely behind Jill) has not survived. He made it across to Colombia, but mysteriously his signals are all now coming from a house near El Barrial about 60 miles inland. Very strange!

September 28, 2012
Jill made it safe and sound to Colombia. Her crossing of the Caribbean took 24 hours. She arrived on the coast of Colombia near Santa Marta in the Magdalena region before 9 am on September 26. It’s possible she arrived earlier and rested (her transmitter is on a 9 am to 9 pm cycle) but based on just the available data points it looks like she just kept going. Her 9 am point was right on the coast, but she was not perched; she was on the move. By 10 am she was heading SW and climbing (2,500 ft.). By 11 am she 3,600 ft. up and heading over the Cordillera Oriental Mountains (northern end of the Andes) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park. The highest peak is over 18,000 ft., so she had some work to do. By 3 pm she turned around and reversed course and landed. She spent the night along a high ridge. By 10 am on the 27th she was heading south again (at 11,600ft). She cleared the mountains and was coasting south over the foothills ending the day close to Becerril not too far from the Venezuelan border. She may decide to settle in this area or she may go as far as central Brazil. The maps show her route across the Caribbean and her route over the Cordillera Oriental Mountains.

Jill September 28

Jill September 28

September 26, 2012
Jill Half Way Across Caribbean
Another batch of data came in late yesterday that shows that Jill, true to form, did not hesitate and departed on her crossing of the Caribbean first thing yesterday morning. Her last data point was at 7 p.m. showing that she was 250 miles from her departure point and making good progress. Fingers crossed!

Jill September 26

September 25, 2012
Jill is in the Dominican Republic. Jill has left Cuba far behind. She continued along the south coast of Cuba on the 23rd, crossing directly over Guantanamo Bay. She crossed the 55 miles or so over to Haiti and ended the day near Gonaives. She was off by 9 am on the 24th and headed south skirting the west side of Port-au-Prince and then west and quickly over the border into the Dominican Republic, ended the day near Enriquillo. She is now poised to depart on the most dangerous hours of her journey – the 360 mile crossing of the Caribbean Sea over to South America. She is at the exact spot where Saco departed from last year – but a whole month earlier. The next download of data in three days will be most revealing.

Jill September 25

September 24, 2012
Jill’s In Cuba After a short rest near Alligator Alley, she was off again on the 19th and ended the day 226 miles away in Cuba. She made the 125 mile water crossing in about 5 hours. On the 20th, she continued south over the Escambray Mountains until she hit the southern coast of Cuba. Time for a short rest. Then on the 21st she turned left (east) following the southern shore of Cuba past the city of Trinidad and covered another 151 miles to the Camaguey Region. The last point of this download was 10 am Saturday (22nd) and she was on her way east again. She has covered more than 1,900 miles in 11 days. She’s now entering the most dangerous part of her journey.

Jill September 24

Jill, Chip, and Art as of September 22.
Jill, Chip, and Art September 22

September 19, 2012
Jill is pushing her way south through Florida – right on track. She has avoided the big cities and cruised over a lot of wetlands. She went west of Orlando and almost headed to the west coast of Florida near Sarasota, but did a course correction and headed south-east again east of Port Charlotte. She ended the 18th just north of “Alligator Alley” north of the Great Cypress National Preserve. She’s now more than 1,400 miles into her journey – in eight days of travel.

Jill September 19

September 18, 2012
Jill just keeps on trucking south. She looks like a pro. At 10 am on the 14th she was perched next to a nice looking pond near her roost site (breakfast) and then she was off again swallowing up the South Carolina coast. She crossed over Charlestown and ended the day near the Edisto River, SC. On the 15th she was off again and crossed the Broad River and then directly over Savannah, Georgia, ending the day near the small town of Baldwin, just west of Jacksonville, FL. She’s been migrating for just six days. On day 1 she went 212 miles; day 2 = 200 miles; day 3 = 186 miles; day 4 = 172 miles; day 5 = 205 miles; and day 6 = 186 miles. It took Saco six weeks to get to this point last year! She might be in Cuba by the next data download!!

Jill September 18

Looking south down the East coast at the locations of Jill, Chip, and Art.

Jill, Chip, and Art from the North

September 16, 2012
Jill spent the night of the 10th near Eastport, Long Island. By 9 am on the 11th she was cruising along the south-west tip of Fire Island. She crossed 44 miles of open water to reach the Jersey Shore by 11:30. She cruised high over NJ and passed directly over Cape May Observatory at about 4:15 and crossed the Delaware Bay. She spent the night in north Delaware near Lewes. On the 12th, she stopped off for brunch along a tidal river surrounded by ritzy looking houses, but did not linger. This girl is on a mission. She averaged 36kph through Virginia and crossed the Chesapeake at 4 pm. She spent that night on the edge of a conifer plantation in the middle of farmland west of Elizabeth City, NC. On the 13th she continued her determined pace and by 6 pm she was just north of Wilmington, NC. More than 750 miles into her journey.

Jill September 16

September 13, 2012
Got an incomplete download today, but the last points indicate that Jill is in North Carolina! She roosted at the end of the day on the 12th about 8 miles west of Elizabeth City. She is now more than 560 miles from the nest. Not bad for three days of her very first migration. I’ll have a map next week when I get all the data.

September 11, 2012
So, after being a home-body for so long, Jill made her move yesterday. By 9 am she was on the nest, but by 10 am, she was 27 miles to the south just to the north-west of Manchester. By noon she was over the east edge of Milford, MA. By 1 pm, she was in Rhode Island and passed within 15 miles of where her brother has been hanging out for nearly 3 weeks. She briefly crossed the south-east corner of CT and then kept going across the Block Island Sound, passed Fisher Island, over Gardiners Island and by 3 pm was on the south shore of Long Island between Sagaponack and Wainscott. That was the last data point of the download and I'm guessing she was looking for a place to roost. When crossing the Sound she was at 900 meters, but by the 3 pm point she was at 60 meters. Not a bad first day -- 185 miles point to point. The map shows her first day's migration compared to her brother's journey so far.

Jill September 11

September 10, 2012
No change. Jill is still at the nest.

August 31, 2012
Jill is still at her nest; obviously dad is still feeding her. I am glad to see her stretch her wings a little on Wednesday with a trip over the Giles Pond in north Franklin at 11 am, but she was right back to the nest by noon. I swung by the nest later on Wednesday and she was in the nest food begging. Still plenty of time – Chip was early to leave, but Jill is in no hurry.

Jill August 31

August 28, 2012
No change for Jill, except that her brother has left, so presumably feedings at the nest are less of a scrum. She is sticking petty close to home for now.

Jill August 28

August 21, 2012
Jill went on a little trip on the 18th over to Franklin. At 1 p.m. she was along the Merrimack River just south of the town of Franklin. At the same time, her brother Chip was a little over 3 miles up river – so it seems it was a family outing. She has also been to Silver Lake finally and has several points along the Winnipesaukee River near the nest.

Jill Field Trip

August 21, 2012
Chip is wandering further and further afield, while Jill is sticking close to home. Chip has been as far as their nearest Osprey nest neighbor on Lake Winnisquam (probably didn’t get a warm welcome). He spends good portions of each day along the river and frequently explores Silver Lake. He may even be fishing for himself (or at least trying to). Maybe Jill is too, but if so she’s doing it in the pond right next to the nest (which does have plenty of Pickerel). Their mom may have started her migration already – her work is done; her chicks are close to being independent and no longer need the protection of their mother. She’s made this migration several times before and knows what’s in store – might as well get a head start. We’ll be able to recognize her next year, as she is now banded (we caught her on the day we tagged Chip and Jill – see photo below of her with Rob Bierregaard).

Jill August 21

Photo Courtesy Chris Martin

August 14, 2012
Chip continues to spend much more time away from the nest. Jill did take on “field trip” on August 11. At 5 p.m. she was over the J.Jill facility (apparently 980 meters up) and then at 6 p.m. was flying back towards the nest almost two miles away. From the position, I would guess that she had visiting Knowles Pond which is 2.25 miles from nest. Chip spends good portions of each day along the river and down to Silver Lake, but so far within a two mile radius of the nest. Dad and Mom are still feeding them (and their sister) multiple times each day back at the nest.

Jill August 14

August 7, 2012
Jill and Chip were tagged on August 2, 2012 at their nest in Tilton, NH. Both have been flying for about ten days now and are sticking pretty close to the nest. It looks like Chip has followed dad over to the Winnipesaukee River on one occasion (got to learn how to fish by watching the master). He was also perched on a utility pole just to the north. His dad tried to build a frustration nest on that pole three years ago. The pond adjacent to their nest – which has plenty of pickerel -- will provide lots of opportunity for practicing their dives. The nest remains the major dinner table and Jill and Chip (and their untagged sister) spend a lot of time begging at the nest.

Jill August 7