Travels so far: 1 Jan-26 Mar 2010. Hudson is home!
Last fall he settled down along the Rio
Meta on the Colombian-Venezuelan border on 1 Nov. '09.
After 4 months there, he started north on 7 March.
Usually our birds spend about 5 months at their wintering area, but
Hudson did some serious dilly-dallying (that's the technical term) as he
moved south through Venezuela last fall.
days after heading north he was out over the Caribbean, heading for Cuba, probably.
On the spring maps, I will include his southbound track from last
Notice that he's not retracing his southbound route as he heads
north. This tells us that at this stage of the game, he's just heading
in a direction and is not using landmarks as navigational aides.
Also note the western drift on both the southbound and
northbound legs of his migration. This is almost certainly the effect of
Hudson was retrapped in late April to remove his transmitter.
Scroll down for detailed maps.
Switch to last year's maps.
6-9 Mar 2010. Hudson followed his beak north to the very
northernmost shore of Venezuela and took on the Caribbean Sea in the
afternoon (about 16:00).
9-12Mar 2010. About 28 hours after leaving Venezuela, Hudson hit
Cuba's southeastern coast. He may have taken a very brief breather on a
tiny islet off the western tip of Hispaniola.
One of the interesting points of this map is that he
didn't opt for the easier (less time over water) trip back to Hispaniola
but rather flew about 650 mi (1,040 km) over the water straight to Cuba.
Going to Hispaniola probably would have entailed fighting the trade
winds. One of the many questions we can address with these data is to
what extent will birds correct for wind drift? Hudson seems to be
telling us that the answer for Ospreys is, "not much, if at all."
Hudson took care of Cuba in about record time, spending
only 2 nights there. In contrast, Mr. Hannah spent 5 nights (stocking up
on Cuban cigars and rum?).
1 Jan-21 Mar 2010. Hudson left Cuba a bit before noon on the 12th
and made it to Key Largo about 6 hours later covering 200 mi (322 km) in
His meandering path and the short distances covered on
the 13th suggest he did some fishing between Miami and the Everglades.
I've put Mr. Hannah's track in the map. He's about 6
days behind Hudson, in part because he started from way down in Brazil.
Added to that, he spent 5, rather than 2 nights in Cuba. This difference
may be weather related.
14-19 Mar 2010. Hudson is getting down to business. He's 12 days
into his homeward migration.
The 15th was pretty much all migration. He took a day off on
the 17th (maybe weather related), before starting to move again on the
18-21 Mar 2010. This is a bird on a mission with a very accurate
compass. I always find it remarkable how our birds can keep a compass
heading over days like this.
On the 20th, he stopped migrating around 16:00 about 20
mi northeast of Durham, NC. There are a couple of small ponds here, so I
guess he wanted to hunt a bit. The next day he started migrating just
before 09:00 and stopped for an hour or so at a couple of tiny ponds
(see next map).
He spent the night of the 21st just southwest of
Chesapeake Bay. He's probably a couple of days short of getting home.
21 Mar 2010. Hudson stopped here for an hour. Hard to believe these
little ponds would catch his attention, but apparently they did.
21 Mar 2010. Hudson crossed the Rappahannock River in southern
Virginia just before 18:00 (DST) and a few minutes later liked the looks
of these ponds around a greenhouse facility in northern Richmond County.
He settled down here for a good night's sleep and maybe a quick
fish for breakfast.
21-24 Mar 2010. Hudson flew just SE of DC around 10:00, crossed
Chesapeake Bay south of Baltimore, knocked off Delaware in a few hours
(pit stop near Smyrna) and settled down for the night in southern New
22 Mar 2010. Hudson didn't move very far on the 22nd. He arrived in
this area around 11:00 and poked around a few small ponds before
roosting between Waldorf and La Plata, MD.
23 Mar 2010. Hudson roosted in the woods (makes me nervous after
losing a couple of birds to Great-horned Owls last fall) east of
Vineland, in southern New Jersey.
24 Mar 2010. Hudson probably did some fishing as he flew north along
the west side of Barnegut Bay, where he took about 4 hours (each balloon
is an hour later than the previous) to go about 20 miles.
Interesting turn inland after moving up the coast north
of Barnegut Bay. He spent the night on the shores of Swimming Lake
Reservoir in NE New Jersey.
24-26 Mar 2010. Hudson must have heard that I'd predicted his
arrival on the 25th. He was over Long Island in the early afternoon of
the 25th and certainly could have made it, but noooo, he had to put out
his sea anchor and slow down around the CT/RI border.
He spent the night at Watchaug Pond in SW Rhode Island,
and then flew the last 33 miles (53 km) home between 09:00 and
10:00, when he was on his nest.
Measuring the distances between his nightly roosts, his
total trip was about 2,950 mi (4750 km), which he took care of in 20
days, averaging (this is easy) 142.5 mi/day (237.5 km/day).
26-28 Mar 2010. The circle is unbroken. After tracking so many young
with their very high mortality, it sure is nice to get a bird back home!
Hudson got home on the 26th and settled right down to
checking his favorite fishing spots--Nonquit Pond and Briggs Marsh. He
was seen bringing seaweed into the nest on the 28th.
26-28 Mar 2010. A sight to make an Osprey tagger really, really
happy. Hudson back on the nest with the Mrs. after a successful
Hudson was captured in
26 Mar-28 Apr 2010. These are the last points we have for Hudson
before he was retrapped to retrieve his transmitter in late April. Note
here that he's going up to the East Branch where there's a significant
herring run a bit later in the spring, but he obviously didn't find
anything going on up there, so he mostly hunted around his nest, where
he was doubtless working full-time on courtship and territorial defense.
His favorite site during this time was Nannaquaket
Pond, northwest of his nest. He did a lot of fishing over there last
The point at the Allens Pond Sanctuary HQ was a signal
picked up after the transmitter was removed and brought back to await
redeployment on a new male.