New Osprey Tracking Lesson Plans Available for Schools

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center’s Project Tracks Ospreys for Fifth Year

The New Hampshire-based Osprey satellite tracking project is now spreading to 13 states in the eastern US; all the way to Florida. Thanks to a grant from the 3M Eco Grant and matching funds from Eversource Energy and the Jane B. Cook 1983 Charitable Trust, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is creating a network of followers at nature centers and schools along the eastern migration flyway. Unique lesson plans have been created for students at elementary to high school levels that encourage understanding of Osprey migration, geography, threats to Ospreys, the life cycles of Ospreys, etc. These cross-curricular teaching resources are available online for free. Many of these lesson plans have been adapted from materials created in the UK by ©J&P Murray, 2014 and World Osprey Week.

Iain MacLeod, Executive Director of the Science Center and the leader of the project is eager to share these resources. “We are delighted to make these materials available to any educators who wish to use them. We do ask that teachers add their school to the World Osprey Week (WOW) website and join schools from all across the country and in Europe and Africa that are following and learning about Ospreys. Your school will be featured on an interactive map that also plots the migrations of several featured Ospreys in the Americas and Europe,” said MacLeod.

World Osprey Week was launched last year by researchers and educators in the UK. New Hampshire’s Project OspreyTrack is an important partner. “One of our Ospreys, named Donovan, is one of the featured WOW Ospreys. He has spent his winter just north of the Orinoco River in Venezuela and will soon be heading north again to return to his nest in Tilton. Students from across the globe will be following his story on interactive maps and blogs,” said MacLeod. Later in the spring MacLeod will be following another NH bird named Artoo. “Artoo is a very special Osprey. We tagged him as a chick at his nest in Bridgewater. We also tagged his brother Bergen at the same time. Artoo and Bergen’s father Art was tagged in 2012 and 2013 and Artoo’s sister Bridget was tagged last year,” said MacLeod. Artoo has beaten the odds – only one in five young Ospreys survive their first year of life – and will soon head north for the first time. Young Ospreys don’t return to their breeding areas until they are nearly two years old, and able to breed. Artoo arrived in Venezuela in October 2013 and spent part of his first winter near the Orinoco River. In January 2014, he flew all the way down to the upper reaches of the Amazon River in Brazil and has been there ever since. MacLeod expects Artoo to return to New Hampshire in April of this year and try to establish a nest in the Lakes Region.

To follow the latest updates on Artoo and Donovan and follow other tagged Ospreys visit:
http://www.nhnature.org/programs/project_ospreytrack/

You can also follow MacLeod’s Osprey Tracking Twitter feed at @OspreyNH

To view and download the lesson plans, go to: http://www.nhnature.org/programs/project_ospreytrack/osprey_curriculum.php

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