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One of original ospreys brought to Indiana still nesting
Start Date: 8/1/2017
Event Description:
A 14-year-old osprey, one of the original ospreys brought to Indiana in 2003 as part of a restoration program, is still nesting successfully at Patoka Lake.

Wildlife photographer Stuart Forsythe photographed the osprey at Patoka Lake on July 5. The bird was on a DNR-constructed nesting platform near Jackson Creek.

Forsythe’s image included the bird’s leg band identification number. He sent the images to DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife biologists, who used the numbers to determine that the bird arrived in Indiana in 2003 from Newport News, Virginia.

Biologists brought this osprey and 95 others to Indiana from 2003 to 2006 for a restoration program that “hacked” or released young ospreys at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, Minnehaha Fish & Wildlife Area, Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area and Patoka Lake.

Forsythe’s photo also showed a juvenile osprey, proving the banded bird had successfully raised offspring this year.

Ospreys begin breeding in late March and nest until early August. An average clutch includes three eggs that hatch in about a month. Then, parents care for the chicks for 4 1/2 months until they become independent.

“This parent will probably follow around and feed the juvenile until autumn when the juvenile is able to hunt on its own,” said DNR nongame bird biologist Allisyn-Marie Gillet.

DNR officials are considering removing the osprey from the state-endangered species list because the restoration has been so successful. In 2016, 64 osprey pairs were documented, with 11 new nests found in 16 counties. Fayette County had a nest site identified for the first time in 2016.

The osprey reintroduction program was one of several endangered species restoration projects initiated by DNR wildlife diversity staff. This project and ongoing research would not be possible without donations to the Indiana Nongame Fund, the main funding source of all nongame and endangered species research and management.

Hoosiers can help by donating a portion of their tax returns to the fund or by donating online. For every $5 donated to the Nongame Fund, another $9 is awarded through federal grants.

“Donate $5, wildlife gets $14,” Gillet said. “It’s a win-win.”

Donate online at endangeredwildlife.IN.gov.

More information on the Indiana Nongame Fund is at wildlife.IN.gov/3316.htm.

Contact Information:
Name: Allisyn-Marie Gillet
Phone: (812) 334-1137
Email: agillet@dnr.IN.gov
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