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This Week’s Creature Feature ... Travels with Buck

Like John Steinbeck, this osprey wanted to see America

In between migrations most osprey are homebodies. Conventional wisdom holds that male osprey almost always return to the vicinity of their nests to breed.
    Not every osprey is conventional.
    That’s the latest from osprey scientist Rob Bierregaard, who’s been studying the birds since 1969. Since 2000, he’s been tagging juvenile and adult birds with satellite transmitters and following their lives and adventures. Each bird has its story, and he takes each story personally.
    Never in all those years has he seen a more restless, or ambitious, bird than Buck, tagged as a nestling in South Carolina in 2009.
    Over his first migration back home, Bierregaard writes, “Buck is doing some really amazing things.”
    His migration from Venezuela took only four days, April 22 to 26. But as Buck approached home, he went “a bit rogue,” Bierregaard writes.
    During 70 days, Buck flew over 6,400 miles, “covering most of the northeastern U.S. from North Carolina to Ohio to New Hampshire, an area roughly the size of Great Britain and Ireland combined.
    “In his two years on the planet,” Bierregaard writes “he’s been in a record 19 states.”

Follow the flight of Buck the  unconventional osprey at http://bit.ly/ngOtAF.