Watching the Grass Grow

Not much to report except that Coley continues to be moving very little with 0 to 2 flights per day recorded with satellite tracking.  My caption last time was “Taking it Easy.”  Well, that was describing him as too active.  Here “Watching the Grass Grow” seems more appropriate.

As a biologist with over 40 years of studying birds I am supposed to be objective about my observations with nature.  However, as hard as I try, subjectivity creeps in from time to time – giving a bird a name does not help! – and I start worrying about the individual birds that I study.  My worry level for Coley rises and falls with his movements, and with his non-movements.  Now he is moving a little and this tells me everything is fine.  But since he is moving only a little, I worry that the fixes we get on him may be wrong or inaccurate.  The GPS technology associated with the transmitter has its drawbacks.  Also, cloud cover, rain, etc. can influence GPS readings.  If you look at the satellite data on Coley, most of the hourly readings say Speed 0 and Course 0 and Altitude 10 meters.  So if he was not moving, yes his speed would be 0.  But if the course is 0, that means that his direction was not accurately measured.  This could be caused by the things mentioned above or by a low battery in the transmitter.  All this suggests that the precise location is suspect as well.  Anyway, until we see more movement from Coley, fishing activities outside the very small area where he seems to be spending his time, my Coley Concern Level (CCL) is about 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

In future reports I will use the CCL to let you know my worry level for Coley.  Remember, when you click on the circles in the kml Google map, and it says 2D fix, just ignore those, they are not accurate.  And if it says course 0, then you can probably discount those locations as well.

Next report to follow in 10 days or so unless of course something dramatic happens.

Thanks again to all of you for your input and support.

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. A piece of good news despite the events of the week or so.
    The east coast will be reeling from the recent storm for
    quite awhile. A bright note is reading about Coley. No
    doubt many of the migrators did not make it to their destination. Come spring a new “generation” will begin and
    new hope for the devestated areas. We all hope for the best.