In our last report March 27th, Coley had been traveling up to 19 miles east of Jamaica Bay to small ponds on Long Island apparently to fish. Last year, Coley rarely left the confines of Jamaica Bay, and those journeys were always less than a mile, so it was a little scary to see him travel so far afield to forage elsewhere. This unusual travel was likely due to the unavailability of fish in Jamaica Bay for Coley. Fortunately that has all changed over the last 6 days and Coley has confined all of his activity to within a mile or so of his nest. This means that he is fishing in Jamaica Bay and that he is spending time around his nest rebuilding it. It also means that he is likely courting and copulating with his mate.
Now, I want to clarify what I mean by fish being unavailable to Coley in Jamaica Bay. Ospreys forage by flying about 50 to 100 feet above the water. Once a fish is spotted, they dive headfirst and just before hitting the water, they thrust their feet forward in front of their head. This method allows them to catch fish that are at the surface or usually no more than 24 inches below the surface. If the water is very choppy or if the turbidity (a measure of clarity) of the water is too high, Coley will not be able to see fish that are a few inches or more below the surface. This means that fish may have been present in the bay, but Coley could not see them to catch them. Also, it could be that the fish were deeper in the water than Coley could dive to catch them. Or, that fish are not there at all.
There still is no evidence that the loose backpack transmitter strap is giving Coley any trouble. We are keeping our fingers crossed that it will not be a problem for the next 30 days or so until we can catch Coley to remove his transmitter.
We should expect eggs in the nest within about 10 days!
Coley and Dr. Bob Signing off.