Yellow = “Monroe Spark”, tagged at Estral Beach on 16 July 2013

 

FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF BARB JENSEN

November 2013

Sparky arrived in the Nashville area on September 3rd and remained on the outskirts of the Capital of Country Music for almost 3 weeks. While enjoying the country sounds he investigated almost every nook, corner, and fishing hole of the local Harpeth River. On September 22nd the migration bug bit again and he decided to move on. However, rather than continue flying in a southwesterly direction which would lead him to the Mississippi River and down to the Gulf, he headed straight south through Alabama and crossed into Florida on September 25th. From there he moved east along the Florida panhandle, turned south again onto the peninsula, passed to the west of Lake Okeechobee and arrived in the Florida Keys by October 2nd.
After a short stop to rest and refuel he crossed the Straits of Florida and arrived in Cuba on October 5th. Once south of Havana he found another great fishing hole, the Manposton Reservoir, built to retain rainwater runoff and stocked with Tilapia, Catfish, etc. Sparky had discovered a great fish bowl, or more likely an "aqua culture" site.
Past research tells us these are dangerous places for Ospreys to visit and it is here where Sparky enjoyed his final days. We lost Monroe Sparks' signal on October 22nd. His data transmission ended near the shore of Manposton.

26 September 2013

[Sparks] flew over some huge steel plant and is now on the Tenesaw River, near Lotus Lake.  That should make Jane [Purslow, awesome photographer] happy as she LOVES the Lotus flowers.  :-)  I wonder how long he'll vacation at this spot and when he leaves whether he'll go east, west or just plain south!!!  Stand by for further adventures.

28 August 2013

On July 16, Monroe Spark was the second of three chicks to be tagged this summer with a satellite transmitter.  He was six weeks of age and resided in Berlin Twp., (near Estral Beach) Monroe County on a nest atop a man made platform assembled on USFWS property by DTE Energy.  Nine days after he received his "backpack", Sparky left the nest under his own power and began investigating his local SE MI neighborhood.  He ventured south, visiting Sterling State Park and DTE's Fermi plant as well as north, checking out both Pte Mouillee and Lake Erie MetroPark.

At noon, on Aug. 24th, Sparky must have become bored with the local scenery and felt the itch to move on to bigger adventures.  He was roosting on Crystal Island, just east of Grosse Ile, when at mid-day he flew past Bert Urbani's house, (Bert was responsible for securing funding from DTE for his backpack unit) blew her a kiss, and waved a wing "good-bye."

How exciting!! Migration is beginning for Monroe Spark, who is the first tagged MI Osprey to head to what will be his wintering grounds.  We have no data as to which route our Ospreys take when migrating...east or west or somewhere in between but we're going to find out.

Apparently, at this time, Sparky thinks southwest is the way to go.  He continued past the west side of Adrian, and, on the 26th, he crossed into Ohio, just south of Hillsdale County, and proceded to land in the backyard of a home in Montpelier. There he remained for the night..."Where's the water for your fish dinner, Sparky?"

The next day, Aug. 27, Monroe Spark crossed into Indiana and continued in a southwesterly direction toward Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The arrow points to the yellow dot for Monroe Spark’s location at 18:00 EDT on 27 August 2013. This view is facing northeast on the Mayhew Road bridge over the St. Joseph River, just northeast of Fort Wayne, IN.

Based on the direction he's been traveling, his next destination might be Indianapolis.  From there, possibly he'll head to Evansville.  Is Illinois next?  It will be interesting to see if he picks up the Ohio River and eventually finds his way to the Mississippi to take him south.

Stay tuned.

And, not to worry, Zugunruhe is a German term used by bird researchers meaning “migratory restlessness.”

 

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