We Banded Osprey Chicks

1st Osprey chick

A few days ago, we went to Tower Street Open-space Park to band Osprey chicks. I went with Papa, Lucy, Dalit, Rob, Adam, and Erim. When we arrived, we saw one of the Ospreys. I used my binos to take a look at it (Papa had forgotten his binos). I saw a blue band but I couldn’t read the number and letter. The blue band is important because it shows the date it was banded and  it will show if it is a male or female. The Osprey nest was located on the edge of a baseball field. They used a white bucket truck to take the chicks out of the nest. Rob said they put a net over the chicks so they don’t fly or stumble out of the nest. When the chicks were out, Rob put them in a cooler so they wouldn’t get too hot! 

Now that the chicks were out, we all helped put a blanket on the ground. Rob pulled an Osprey chick out of the cooler. It was not very happy about being banded! It kept biting Rob and Dalit! After a while, the chick stopped biting. Next, he and Dalit banded the osprey chick, first with a metal band with 9 numbers on it and then a large blue band with a white letter and number which is easy to read from a distance. Then they put a red sweater sleeve over the Ospreys wings and body so the Osprey chick wouldn’t move around too much while they were weighing it! After that, Rob took a blood sample on the wing. The blood sample needle looked a little like a shot. Rob put the sample into a small plastic tube with a bit of information on it and squeezed the rest onto a piece of paper. Since the blood sample had made a little cut in the skin, they had to put a cotton ball over it until it stopped bleeding. I went to look at the Osprey up close and thought the talons were the best part, I Thought the talons were the best part because they looked big and strong! The Osprey had light brown wings, back, tail and head, a pale belly and orange eyes. They pulled the last Osprey out of the cooler and the process happened all over again. Next Tuesday we are going Osprey banding at Fort Missoula, anyone can come, so if you have any questions put them in your comments and I will answer them next week. 

                                                    Questions & Answers

  • How many eggs do Ospreys usually lay? Ospreys will lay 1-2 eggs a year.
  • Do scientists reband Ospreys? No, Osprey legs grow the fastest, so the band has a good chance of staying on.
  •  Where do Ospreys prefer to nest? Ospreys prefer to nest on trees and poles by the river.
  • How did it feel to watch the process? It felt exciting because it was a new experience. 

                                                               My questions

  • I wonder how long the lifespan of an Osprey is?
  • I wonder what the population of Ospreys is?
  • I wonder where Ospreys are uncommon?

3 thoughts on “We Banded Osprey Chicks

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say wonderful blog!


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