Safe Arrival in Colombia

When we last reported, Coley was half way across the Caribbean Sea heading southwest at 7pm on September 25th. He flew through the night and arrived on the coast of Colombia sometime on or around 6am on Wednesday the 26th. He made the 485 mile crossing in about 20 hours, averaging a flight speed of 24 to 25 mph. He had good weather all of the way and has been spending the last few days in a large marsh on the north coast of Colombia.

Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta, Colombia, where Coley has been spending the last few days

Here are some details of his most recent push east and south:

September 25 to 26 – Since our last data point at 7pm on the 25th, Coley continued in a southwest direction until our data collection turned off at 10pm. Sometime after that he changed to a more southerly direction and reached the coast of Colombia at the city of Santa Marta, the capital of the department of Magdalena, at or before 6am on the 26th. It took him about 20 hours to travel the 485 miles from his jump off location in the Dominican Republic until he made landfall in Colombia. After reaching land, he rested for a few hours and took off again sometime after 10am, continuing southwest and then west until he reached the west side of the a large freshwater marsh, the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta and remained there the rest of the day. Here is a short blurb from Wikipedia on this marsh:

The Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta (Spanish for Large Marsh of Saint Martha) is the largest of the swampy marshes located between the Magdalena River and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It has an area of 4280 km2 and belongs to the outer delta system of the Magdalena River and is separated from the Caribbean Sea by a narrow, sandy artificial spit built in the 1950s on which is situated coastal Route 90 from Barranquilla to Santa Marta.

September 27 to October 1 – Has Coley reached his wintering home? Whenever an Osprey stops in one place for more than a day or two during migration, we begin to think that he has reached his wintering home. Since he has been on the west side of the Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta or more accurately in the Cienaga Pajaral (or loosely translated as the Bird Marsh) for the last five days, there is a good chance that he has. He could also be resting and recuperating from his more than 2,600 miles of travels since he left home on September 10th.

Coley’s now spent 22 days migrating, but we will have to wait to see if this is his destination. It would be a perfect place for an Osprey to winter. More later.

Coley and Dr. Bob Signing off.

Bull’s eyes = Osprey’s location every hour.
Lines = Sequence of locations in time (not the actual flight path)

Click the Sat(ellite), Ter(rain) or Earth buttons on the map for alternate views. The Earth view requires you to have the free Google Earth software on your computer. For a larger map, go to Google Maps or download the KML file to view in your copy of Google Earth.


  1. Let’s call it good here, Coley, may your next long flight be northbound.

    Many thanks to all involved in this project; much better than TV.

  2. Whew! I was worried, as it seemed Coley had disappeared right after I showed my 9yo daughter and a class of 6th graders this site (to show how GPS systems use latitude and longitude, and how latitude infuences climate)- I did not want to have to break any bad news to a bunch of kids!

    We’ll definitely be checking back in again soon!

  3. I feel like my kid called home to tell me he’s safe. Tears of joy. Thank you for your great work.


  4. Dear Friends of Avian Life, our adult son, Pau, introduced us to the website just as Coley was leaving the US. The thought of being able to track this noble bird is overwhelming and at times, I have wished that I too had wings and could join him.
    I have never understood the intricacies of bird migration, nor in fact any non human migration. Because of this experiemce, at age 74, I have found a new area of interest to research. Thank you so much for your work, your dedication and for sharing Coley’s passage with us. mmm

  5. Coley’s journey pointed out to me the need for conservation of habitat in parts of the world other than our own backyard. The need for a home in South America is as vital to their survival as is their environment in Jamaica Bay. Somehow this wasn’t apparent to me until I thought about where Coley was going to winter. South America is going through significant growth in population, without the resources and public backing for conservation that we have in the US.

  6. I am in utter awe and amazement at this extraordinary creature. I am sharing this wonderful website with my 10 year old daughter so she too may learn how strong and courageous other animals are. Thank you Jamaica Bay and Dr. Kennedy for your fine work as a naturalist and conservationist. We need more people like you to educate the public about these fascinating creatures. We hope Coley has a safe journey there and back!

  7. It’s been quite a while since we have received a report! Do you know where your Coley is?


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