Katbird - 2011
'09 maps for:
Buck -- Caley --
Hudson 09 -- Isabel --
Katy -- L.R. --
Mr. Hannah --
2010 maps for: Belle
-- Buck --
Mr. Hannah --
North Fork Bob
-- Sr. Bones --
-- North Fork Bob --
Sr. Bones --
Thatch -- Tucker
2012 maps: Art --
Jill -- North Fork Bob --
Sr. Bones -- Thatch
2013 maps: Art --
North Fork Bob --
main page --
Migration 11 --
Migration 12 --
Migration 13 -- Home
25 May-17 July 2011.
tagged adult male, Katbird, took a tour of the
lower tier of New England states after his nest
failed. He hung around
the nest for about 3 weeks and then took a road
After a week off-Island, he returned to the Vineyard
for the rest of the summer and then started his
migration on the 26th of Sept.
He's now out over the Caribbean, facing some nasty
weather. His route has been very unusual.
Almost all adults fly south to S.A. from
Hispaniola, but he made it all the way to the
British Virgin Islands before heading south.
Scroll down for all his maps, or...
ahead to the start of fall migration.
25 May-6 June 2011.
Katbird appears to do most of his hunting over
at Edgartown Great Pond. I had expected to see
him hunting more on Chappaquiddick itself,
especially in the shallow Cape Pogue Bay, which
seems like it should be perfect for an Osprey to
25 May-6 June 2011.
When he wasn't over at
Edgartown Great Pond, Katbird spent some time
around the nest and its vicinity. Only 1 trip
over to Poucha Pond near East Beach.
4-11 June 2011.
most of this week at the head of Edgartown Great
Pond. He took a quick, 1-hr trip up to the Cape
and then returned to Edgartown Great Pond.
6-11 June 2011.
A close up of
the main areas where Katbird has been hunting.
There clearly is an abundant source of fish in
the upper reaches of Edgartown Great Pond. Looks
like the all-you-can-eat buffet is open.
14-20 June 2011.
off on the 15th. He spent a couple of days in
northeastern Connecticut, where our adult
Ospreys so often go after their nests fail, and then pushed on west
14-29 June 2011.
Katbird got to
Oscawana Lake in NY, just 5 miles east of West
Point, on the 21st. He spent 4 days there and
then pretty much flew straight home, although he
two nights near Marion on Buzzards Bay before
returning to the Vineyard.
21-25 June 2011.
5 days just east of the Hudson River around Oscawana Lake...
28 June - 10 July 2011.
...and then was home four
7-17 July 2011.
apparently wasn't paying much attention to his
nest. He may have been there off and on, but he
wasn't there for any of his hourly GPS fixes.
In contrast to earlier in the summer, he spent very
little time at Edgartown Great Pond.
13-25 July 2011.
have had it pretty easy this week. Not much
25 July - 6 Aug 2011.
So what about the cluster of locations we keep
seeing north of his nest? Scroll down...
This hillside above Caleb's Pond and the eastern
shore of Katama Bay is the Katbird's favorite
hangout between fishing bouts. There's no water
around, so his time here is just idle time.
Maybe he's playing Angry Birds on his iPhone.
These are the GPS
locations for the whole summer. He's here more
than anywhere else. The thick cluster of tracks
heading southwest go straight over to Edgartown
Great Pond, where he spent a lot of time hunting
6 Aug - 6 Sep 2011.
biding time before heading south, which should
be any day now. (Except the weather has been
He's been fishing a lot in Katama bay, with occasional
forays over to a small pond just west of
Edgartown Great Pond. (Hey Luanne, what's the
name of this pond?)
the last 2 and a half weeks before migrating
bouncing back and forth between Katama Bay and
Edgartown Great Pond. On the 25th he made a bit
of a move west that looked like he was starting
his migration, but then retreated to home base.
On the 26th he started migrating for real. He left home
around 10:30 AM, passed over Menemsha at 11 and
then headed northwest towards the Westport River
26-28 Sep 2011.
through southern New England quickly, settling
down on the 27th in northern New Jersey. On the
28th he moved 138 miles southwest into
Pennsylvania, roosting just west of Lancaster,
PA, near the Susquehanna River.
27-30 Sep 2011.
slalomed between Baltimore (leaving it to his
left) and D.C. (to his right) on his way to
northern North Carolina. At this point, he's
traveled 638 miles.
1 Oct 2011.
started migrating on the 1st about 8 AM. Six
hours later he passed through Swansboro, NC, and
then kicked off over open water, heading for
points south. Adults that do this usually wind
up making landfall somewhere along Florida's
1 Oct 2011.
across 645 miles (1,038 km) of open Atlantic
ocean, apparently with strong tailwinds,
probably out of the northwest, which would
explain why he wound up in the Bahamas, rather
than Florida's east coast, where most adults
leaving North Carolina's coast usually make
landfall. During the first six hours he was
flying 36 mph (58 kph), which is very fast for
an Osprey. Typically, they fly about 20-25 mph
(32-50 kph) when migrating. He slowed down a bit
over the next 14 hours, but his overall average
was still 30 mph (48 kph).
1 Oct 2011.
reached land (Eleuthra Island) about 26 hours
after leaving North Carolina on the 30th, it
appears he didn't even stop to rest. If he did
stop, in was only for less than half an hour
somewhere on the south end of Eleuthra.
He did finally settle down on Long Island (that's the
Bahama's version not New York's!) after passing
After a night on Long Island, he got off to a
midmorning (10 AM) start to the next leg of his
About 9 hours later he arrived in southeastern Cuba.
His average speed over the water was 22 mph (35
kph). No tailwinds this time.
9 AM start on the 4th, with a probable fishing stop
around 1 PM. He stayed over Cuba as long as
possible and then headed out over open water
around 5 PM. He flew through the night and
landed somewhere in Haiti sometime that night
and roosted across the D.R. border on the 5th.
2-3 Oct 2011.
view of his passage through the Bahamas, looking
southeast, sort of over his shoulder.
5-19 Oct 2011.
(Looking north again)
much stopped his migration in the D.R. for a
couple of weeks. This is probably some
combination of bad weather and the need to fuel
up after the push from the States.
On the 19th he seemed to get going again, although it's
surprising that an adult is moving this far east
through the D.R. Most adults know the short-cut
to South America passes over Cabo Beato, the
south facing peninsula on Hispaniola's south
19-22 Oct 2011.
an unusual path here. I think we've only had one
other adult make it to Puerto Rico and only a
Maybe this is where he winters, but I doubt it. I
suspect he'll cross the Caribbean and settle
down somewhere in South America.
There's a tropical storm brewing due south, so I hope
he waits a while before heading south, if that's
what's in his future.
22-24 Oct 2011.
gone where no bird we've followed has been
before-to the British Virgin Islands.
Because this is the first time we've followed this
bird, we don't know if he normally takes this
"long cut" to South America.
We don't have a GPS fix for him before he headed south
across the Caribbean, but it appears that he
made it all the way to Virgin Gorda, the very
last of the BVIs, before heading south.
22-24 Oct 2011.
Katbird is out
over the middle of the Caribbean in the midst of
some nasty weather (see next map).
The colored points are the satellite-calculated
locations that we get when the transmitter
uploads GPS data after the GPS unit has stopped
recording. While they're not as accurate as the
GPS points, they do tell us that Katbird is
still moving. He's about 150 miles (250 km) from
the closest island where he could rest.
He did not make it across the Caribbean.
24-25 Oct 2011.
location at 1 AM on the 25th is indicated by the
two arrows. After the terrible fall we had last
year, losing 4 birds to tropical storms out over
the Caribbean, this makes us very nervous. The
good news is that animation of this weather map
shows that the heavy weather he was about to
meet at this time did break up and we have
locations for him moving in the right direction
6 hours after this encounter of bird and storm.
We now have to wait 3 days to see how this cliff-hanger