Ospreys are on their way

03/21/2014 1:00 PM |

COURTESY PHOTO | Cutch the osprey after he was captured at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue.

It’s about that time of year when all the part-timers make their way back to the North Fork — the Osprey, that is — returning from a sultry winter abroad.

Ornithologist Rob Bierregaard, who for 13 years has been tracking ospreys’ flight paths to learn about their southern migration patterns, has made it easier for lovers of the sea hawks to track their inevitable return, launching a new website with interactive maps that details their travels.

Mr. Bierregaard said ospreys are trickling their way up the east coast, with North Fork’s resident bird, North Fork Bob, expected to take off for his journey from Venezuela to the North Fork within the next week.

Mr. Bierregaard tagged North Fork Bob in early August 2010, who has been going strong ever since, he said in past interviews.

In past three years, Bob has left around the same time each March, on the 15th in 2011, the 20th in 2012 and the 21st last year, according to the website.

As learned from Cutch — an osprey caught and tagged behind the fifth hole of the North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue — the aerial journey comes with its share of treacherous obstacles. Cutch managed to accidentally impale himself on a piece of a tree protruding from a pond last year, Mr. Bierregaard later found out.

To learn more about North Fork Bob, or any of the 23 other birds Mr. Bierregaard is tracking, and plan for their return, visit his website.

Ornithologist Rob Bierregaard is tracking the flight path of 24 birds, including North Fork Bob, who despite treacherous obstacles has returned to the area each spring since 2010. (Credit: www.ospreytrax.com)

Ornithologist Rob Bierregaard is tracking the flight path of 24 birds, including North Fork Bob, who despite treacherous obstacles has returned to the area each spring since 2010. (Credit: www.ospreytrax.com)