Osprey

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Osprey

  • Females are slightly larger than males
  • Ospreys generally pair for life
  • There are over 250 nests statewide

The Need for Management

Osprey populations declined drastically from the 1950s to the 1970s in part because of the toxic effects of insecticides such as DDT on their reproductive cycle, as well as the loss of breeding grounds and poaching.

Management Results

Few wildlife restoration programs have been more successful than Michigan’s effort to strengthen the state’s osprey population. The ban of DDT in combination with other conservation programs has helped the osprey population increase. Conservationists had set a goal of 30 nesting pairs statewide by 2020. That goal was surpassed in 2010.

Management Activities

The scientifically based management activities responsible for the osprey’s dramatic recovery include:

  • Building and maintaining artificial nest platforms throughout the state.
  • Relocating several osprey to the Detroit area’s Kensington Metropark in 1998.
  • Monitoring the health and number of osprey.
  • Tracking osprey as they migrate south to better understand their habits and help facilitate improvements to the wintertime habitat. The tagged osprey can be tracked here.
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