Journeys: Ospreys, Technology, and an Author
Between 2000 and 2017 Rob Bierregaard and his colleagues placed GPS satellite transmitters on 47 adult and 61 juvenile Ospreys
Between 2000 and 2017 Rob Bierregaard and his colleagues placed GPS satellite transmitters on 47 adult and 61 juvenile Ospreys from South Carolina to the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, Canada.
During the 18 years Rob and his team studied Osprey migration, the technology went through three major upgrades. With each advance in the technology, new questions about Osprey migration and ecology could be answered. Rob will describe how each of the technological innovations helped us understand more and more of the mysteries of how Ospreys navigate from their nesting territories to South American wintering waters often more than 4,000 miles from their nests, what goes on around the nest during the breeding season, and how young Ospreys work their way into the breeding population.
In 2013 someone suggested that Rob write a kids’ book about his favorite Osprey. Five years later, Belle’s Journey, a middle-school chapter book, was published by Charlesbridge. In the last part of the program Rob will describe his own journey as a first-time children’s book author.
Bio- Rob is a research associate of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia. From 1979 to 1988, working for the World Wildlife Fund and the Smithsonian Institution, he directed—in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon—the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, which has been described as the largest and most ambitious ecological experiment ever undertaken.
Upon his repatriation in the late 80s, he taught in the Biology Department of UNC-Charlotte for 18 years and returned his studies to his true passion—birds of prey.
His research over the past three decades has focused on Barred Owls in Charlotte and Ospreys in northeastern North America. From 2000 to 2017, Rob and his colleagues deployed satellite transmitters on 108 Ospreys, from South Carolina to Newfoundland.
In 2018 he published his first children’s book, Belle’s Journey, a narrative non-fiction account of a young Osprey’s first migration to southern Brazil and back again.