March 13th, 2018 by

Volunteers wanted for Osprey surveillance

Osprey and young.(Photo/submitted)

The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan is looking for volunteer citizen scientists to help locate and monitor Ospreys’ nests around the Bay of Quinte. The goal is to establish a long-term monitoring program to ensure the Osprey population remains healthy and abundant.

This project utilizes Social Media (Twitter) and Geo-Location technologies. Citizen scientists are being asked to use their smart phones to capture details about Ospreys that include: nest locations, whether the nest is active or not, the number of fledglings and departure dates for the fall migration.

It’s a simple process. First, ensure that the location settings are activated on the smart phone, then open Twitter, select Tweet, then click the Location tag and Share precise location, next compose your tweet, add your pictures and use the hashtags #bqrap and #osprey and post. Make sure you complete your post from the nest site, otherwise the post will not be accurately located.  The tricky part is remembering to make sure you click on both location settings. Now, you are a citizen scientist!

Why monitor ospreys? Because Ospreys eat fish almost exclusively, and are considered indicators of water quality health. Changes in the number of nesting pairs and number of chicks produced and fledged can reflect changes in aquatic ecosystem health.

Once, the widespread use of DDT brought these great raptors to the brink of extinction. But with a ban, in the 1970s, on this toxic pesticide and the efforts of federal and provincial governments, conservation authorities, groups, and individuals the Ospreys have made a dramatic comeback.

The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan is in the process of changing the status of several of the fish and wildlife environmental challenges identified for the Bay to unimpaired. One way the public can help maintain healthy and diverse fish and wildlife populations and habitats is by participating as citizen scientists.

“The return of this top predator to the Bay of Quinte and their successful nesting is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Collecting data on how the Ospreys are doing, will assist us with ensuring the Bay doesn’t return to the conditions that required a Remedial Action Plan in the first place”. – Sarah Midlane-Jones, BQRAP Communications.

Visit the nest sites throughout the season and post comments and photos of the birds for everyone to enjoy. Visit the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan web site for details

Or contact: Sarah Midlane-Jones, Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, 613-394-3915 ext. 214,

Mary Gunning, Quinte Conservation, 613-968-3434 ext. 106,