We Got Our Bands! Let The Osprey Naming Commence (In 4 Or So Years)

As Dora The Explorer once said so eloquently, "Lo hicimos! We Did It!"
As Dora The Explorer once said so eloquently, “Lo hicimos! We Did It!”

Raise you glasses in revelry and celebration. We did it. We got our local Osprey what they require and deserve: some serious bling! Thanks to the good people at Conserve Wildlife NJ and the NJ Osprey Project, plus a little help from the Readings From The Northside communityour Osprey are going to make Beyonce drool when they hit the beach sporting some of the freshest designs in easy-to-read, high fashion secondary bands.

After extensive consultation, design, and drafting, we decided to go with the one the supplier had in stock: “Cherry Red” with “Tahitian Vanilla White” lettering. We chose the room-stopping, yet understated “letter on top of number” design. These elegant accessories just scream “Hey Paparazi, take a picture of me!” And that’s exactly what I intend to do.

Probably the geekiest catalog I ever obsessed over.
Probably the geekiest catalog I ever obsessed over.

But with this hot new technology, we’ll be able to do much more than just takes pictures: we’ll be able to name our Osprey. A really important first step in getting to know anything. Knowing that thing’s name. I personally have already decided to only use names found in the Game Of Thrones series (and maybe Lord of The Rings) when I name my Osprey. What will you name your Osprey?

Well, if no ideas come to mind, not to worry: you have plenty of time. These bands are really part of a generational project, so get ready to take the long view. The bands won’t be ready until the end of the summer, so the first chicks won’t get banded until Summer 2014. Then, those chicks will fledge and become part of the migration that fall, which extends as far south as South America. Juveniles quickly take to the Laid-back Latin Lifestyle and tend to hang around down there for a year or two. But when they finally return, they tend to return to their hometowns: in this case Barnegat Bay.  So it will still be a few years until we start seeing these bands on LBI. But after that, we’ll know these birds for their lifetime, and maybe even ours.

Which band makes Chotchkie the Oystercatcher easier to identify? The blinged-out orangey one or the drab old USGS government issue blah?
Which band makes Chotchkie the Oystercatcher easier to identify? The blinged-out orangey one or the drab old USGS government issue blah?

Folks tend to think of Osprey and Eagles as being critically endangered because they were for a long, long while. But the truth is, both species are doing well… or at least well enough that official resources need to be focused on birds with much bigger problems (like the itty bitty Piper Plover who are having a disastrous season as I understand it)

That means that regular folks need to step in and start keeping an eye on the Osprey, which for many of us is an easy thing to do (because Osprey are so awesome). These colorful bands will help us amateurs, enthusiasts, wanna-bes, and crazies do so in a more meaningful way, and support projects like Osprey Watch:

Click to Visit The Osprey Watch Site and find nests near you!
Click to Visit The Osprey Watch Site and find nests near you!

http://www.osprey-watch.org/monitoring_groups/3

Osprey Watch is an important step in harnessing the power of an engaged public and a really, really smart thing to do. If you have not checked it out, do! It is super fun to find all the nests near your little slice of heaven. These bands will add a new dimension by allowing people to identify the Osprey they are spending so much time observing and obsessing over more concretely.

So you’ve got about four years to get yourself some binoculars and maybe a notepad, and start watching!

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who chipped in to support this project and my nemesis, the Osprey. If you still have not done so but want to, the good folks at ConserveWildlife NJ needs your help and will cheerfully accept anything you can give. Make sure you tell them it’s for the Osprey and that Readings From The Northside sent you.

Because once this project is licked, we need to go after the big guns: satellite tags. Hopefully we can convince them to tackle and satellite Mac Daddy while they’re at it, so we never lose him again.