Montana’s Dunrovin Ranch ‘Awesome Osprey’ Project goes Worldwide
Several years ago the University of Montana collaborated with SuzAnne Miller at the Dunrovin Ranch in Lolo to study osprey through her “Awesome Osprey’ webcam and determine the amount of pollution in area fish.
Now, Miller has made another collaboration, this time with Michael Academia, a graduate student at William and Mary College in Virginia to study Osprey all over the world.
“Now the Awesome Osprey project will be a five month long project in which students who will participate in the project, and they can be any age from children as young as kindergarten all the way to senior citizens,” Miller said. “They will be collecting observational information from 12 different Osprey nest cameras across the northern hemisphere, from Finland to Scotland to Canada and throughout the United States.”
Miller says her new partner will bring fresh insights and understanding to the worldwide population of Osprey.
“We’re really excited to be collaborating with Michael because he brings a whole other element to the project,” she said. “He will be engaging with the students on a daily basis, talking to them, chatting with them and helping them to understand Ospreys and where they fit into the world of raptors and into the world of birds in general.”
Miller described Academia’s research focus with the worldwide ‘Amazing Osprey’ project.
“His research question is about the number of fish that are brought to the nest each year and how that differs between the nests,” she said. “One of the contributing factors is whether a nest belongs to an Osprey that is inland fishing from a river or from the coast. Osprey who fish from rivers migrate away from colder climates during the winter and then they return in the spring when the rivers are no longer frozen.”
Miller said the four month study officially begins in May and will last through the mating and egg hatching season.
“This isn’t just about science,” she said. “We’ll have some art projects and do some literature reading and talk with authors who have used Ospreys as muses for their literature and their poems and their artwork.”
Miller said there will be a small charge for participating in the study, a total of twenty dollars.
“It’s really just four dollars a month, and if they can’t afford that we are offering scholarships,” she said. “Our interest is giving something for seniors, students and others who are isolated because of the pandemic to participate in something that’s really fun.”
The website contains all the information necessary to get yourself and students involved in the ‘Awesome Osprey’ Project.