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Raptor Migration

Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and the National Park Service outfitted two female Ospreys near Rocky Mountain National Park with satellite tracking units on June 19, 2013.

Mike Britten Holding OspreyThe solar-powered units, worn by the birds like a backpack, will provide biologists with the locations of the birds three times a day for the next 2-3 years. This information will reveal the home ranges, migration routes, stopover sites and winter ranges for the Ospreys to inform the conservation of this species throughout its annual life cycle.

While the ultimate destinations of the Ospreys won't be known until winter of 2013-14, another goal of the project is to strengthen connections between Estes Park, Colorado, at the door of Rocky Mountain National Park, and its Sister City, Monteverde, Costa Rica, through their shared wildlife resources. Projects like this one that show connections between breeding habitats in North America with regions in Mexico, Central America and South America are needed to effectively conserve migrant bird species.

Educators from RMBO and the National Park Service are working with local schools to incorporate the Ospreys' migration into classroom programs. Students will learn about the technology used to track birds and create maps and how information on migration is important for bird conservation.

Track the birds' migration by clicking on the links below. The black points show the bird's location for the past three days. The white points show the bird's movements since August 25, 2013.

Shadow's nest in summer of 2013 was along the shore of Shadow Mountain Reservoir near Grand Lake, Colorado. She and her mate successfully fledged three young in 2013. View Shadow's location using Google maps »

Rainbow's nest in summer of 2013 was near Rainbow Bay on the shore of Lake Granby in north-central Colorado. She and her mate successfully fledged two young in 2013. View Rainbow's location using Google maps »

Thank you to our partners at the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service's Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest and Mountain Parks Electric for contributing to this project.

To receive email updates on Shadow and Rainbow's locations, contact Jason Beason at or 970-310-5117.

Mike Britten Releases Rainbow
Above: Mike Britten with the National Park Service releases Rainbow after she was outfitted with a tracking unit. Top: Mike holds Rainbow right after she received her unit.
For more information, or to receive email updates:
Jason Beason
Special Monitoring Projects Coordinator
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