Osprey Migrations

Beginning in the summer of 2010 Craighead Beringia South partnered with Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) to study Osprey migration. This study is part of a larger effort by the National Park Service (NPS) to better understand the migration of animals that spend only part of each year in the park.

Using satellite transmitters in the study's first year, Craighead Beringia South (CBS) biologists discovered that two male Osprey spent the summer in GTNP before traveling as far as Mexico and Cuba for the winter. These two birds returned to the park in May 2011. A third bird, a juvenile female, migrated to an area near San Antonio, Texas, but did not return to the park for summer. A fourth bird was killed before migration began.

The second year of the study looked closer at the migration habits of Osprey families. In August 2011, two Osprey young located at the south end of Grand Teton National Park were tagged and outfitted with a satellite transmitter. The father of these young was also outfitted with a satellite transmitter. The Osprey travels were closely monitored throughout winter in order to better understand how far, when, and where these birds travel, along with any threats they come across along the way.

Steve Cain, Grand Teton National Park Senior Wildlife Biologist, sums up the project: "If we want to preserve the biodiversity of the park, we need to be looking beyond the borders and working with a variety of partners and stakeholders to preserve these migrations."


Principal Investigator: 
  Steve Cain

Project Biologists:
Bryan Bedrosian
  Ross Crandall

Project Partners: 
  Grand Teton National Park