The Favor

Introduction to Osprey Migration

Every year, in the autumn there is a large-scale movement of birds from their breeding (summer) homes to their nonbreeding (winter) grounds.

Migration  Birds

European osprey winter in Africa.  American and Canada breeders winter in South America, although some stay in the southernmost U.S. states such as Florida and California. Some ospreys from Florida migrate to South America.

The osprey is one of five North American raptors that are true migrants.

Osprey are long-distance migrants, (as opposed to short or medium range).  They have ranges that extend from the United States and Canada in the summer to South America through Brazil in the winter.

It is not just osprey that migrate.  More than 650 species of birds nest in North America. Some are permanent residents, but the majority of the species are migratory.

Other long distant migrants, with which you are familiar, include geese, sandpipers, herons, terns, skimmers, oystercatchers, swallows, finches, and hummingbirds.

The Arctic Tern has the longest-distance migration of any bird, moving from its Arctic breeding grounds to the Antarctic non-breeding areas.  They can make the trip in just three months starting as a fledging, a sea journey of over 22,000 km (14,000 mi).

Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern


The Doctor’s Favor

Is simple and straight forward.

The Doctor wants Ozzie to wear a satellite tracking monitor for the winter, and he wants Harriett to talk him into it.


Perhaps the Doctor should not have described the favor as “small”.  Right now he is wrestling with how to approach Harriett with this request.  He realizes he has not gotten off with a good start.

The Transmitter

Is a solar-powered satellite tracking unit that Ozzie can wear like a backpack. This unit communicates with satellites three times per day to determine his exact location.  It will last all winter.

Argos avian transmitters2
Argos/GPS transmitter

This satellite tracker is the newest, most modern device available and weighs just 30 grams, – the weight of a small packet of chips. This equates to less than 2% of the osprey’s body weight.  It is made by Microwave Telemetry in the United States.  This one ounce Argos/GPS transmitter has sensors to measure temperature, battery voltage and osprey activity, as well as a sixteen channel GPS receiver that calculates position, altitude, heading and speed.

” I am going to talk to Harriett about it first thing in the morning,” the Doctor promised himself.

About Harriett Raptor

Eight-year-old mother of five, fluent in telepathy, a possessor of genetic memory, a genius and scholar. Harriett holds the equivalent of a PhD in philosophy, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and the Homo sapiens’ concept of the humanities. Her understanding of mathematics and logic are beyond Homo sapiens’ current comprehension. Harriett is a thinker, a wise osprey, especially distinguished for her expertise in the Homo sapiens problem.
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