Osprey making progress on trip to south

Last modified: 10/7/2012 12:00:00 AM
THREE OSPREY heading south from New Hampshire are carrying tiny mesh backpacks that allow well-wishers at home to cheer them on during the treacherous journey. Iain MacLeod, executive director of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, said one of the birds, Jill, is doing remarkably well since leaving Sept. 10 and is already nearing Brazil.

'She couldn't have done any more of a perfect migration without any strange deviations or mistakes,' said MacLeod, who outfitted the birds and receives data about their whereabouts every few days.

The feeds show the birds' location, altitude and speed for every hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., allowing MacLeod to track them with detail and see if they are '2,000 feet up, flying pretty fast' or 'perched on this dead tree next to a lake,' he said.

Jill, who was born in a nest near the J. Jill warehouse in Tilton, left New Hampshire much later than her brother, Chip, who MacLeod said seemed to be competing with his siblings with his early departure. In August, Chip shot off for the south, then stalled in Rhode Island where he's been perched by the water 'fattening up,' MacLeod said.

'It's Chip I'm a little worried about. He's been late and he still has to make this migration,' he said. 'If he waits too long, he'll have to make it without other birds to follow.'

Information about the birds' trips, including maps showing their paths, can be found at nhnature.org.

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