conclude second year of IDNR Osprey Recovery Project
Ten Osprey chicks relocated to Illinois from Langley
Air Force Base, Virginia
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[September 20, 2014]
IL Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) biologists are
wrapping up the second summer of a long-term project to re-establish
the osprey as a nesting species in the state. The osprey is listed
as an Illinois state-endangered species, meaning it is at risk of
disappearing as a breeding species. While the osprey often is seen
during spring and fall migration, few remain in Illinois to nest.
Birds from Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia are brought to
Illinois to be released at Anderson Lake in Fulton County and Lake
Shelbyville in Moultrie County.
The young birds are loyal to the place where they grow up and
often return to nest, said IDNR Biologist Patrick McDonald.
Similar programs carried out in other states have been successful
in boosting the number of nesting birds, and we hope to have the
same result here in Illinois.
This was the second year of an eight-year project. Birds removed
from nests near JBLE-Langley, where their local population is
abundant and pose a threat to military aircraft in flight, are
driven to Illinois. The birds are provided free of charge as part of
an ongoing effort to promote wildlife conservation efforts while
mitigating bird aircraft strike hazards at JBLE-Langley. Young birds
receive a physical check-up at the Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur
before they are placed in nest boxes for up to two weeks. While in
the boxes, birds have a view of their surroundings. They are fed and
monitored by students and field technicians from the University of
Illinois Springfield under the direction of Dr. Tih-Fen Ting,
Environmental Studies Dept.
The osprey is a fish-eating hawk that migrates south and winters
from the southern United States to South America. Birds raised in
Illinois will begin their fall migration soon. Two of the birds
released this summer are equipped with satellite transmitters to
allow their movements to be tracked.
We are justifiably proud of our endangered species recovery
efforts, and also are grateful to the many partners that help us
accomplish this important work, said IDNR Director Marc Miller.
Our partners provide additional expertise and help
us make the best use of funds entrusted to us to help bring back
Partner agencies, organizations and businesses that contributed to
the Osprey Recover Program are listed below.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologist Patrick
McDonald sprays a mist of water on the wings of a young
osprey before release. The bird is being held by University
of Illinois Springfield graduate student April Simnor.
Osprey Recovery Project Partners
Lake Shelbyville (Moultrie Co.):
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Shelbyville) Lee Mitchell (Natural
Resource Specialist) was involved with the site selection and
assisted with the logistics of establishing the Illinois osprey
Shelby Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Shelbyville) James Coleman
(President/CEO), Terry Oldham (Operations Superintendent) and crew
donated and installed new utility poles for the structure supports
and installed nesting platforms.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 146 (Decatur)
Shad Etchason (Business Manager/Financial Secretary), Ron Cummings
(Assistant Business Manager), Josh Sapp (Membership Development
Coordinator), Justin Stump, Rosie Thompson and Doug London assisted
with the hacking tower construction.
Midstate Electrical Training Center (Decatur) Jason Drake
(Training Director) and 3rd year Apprentice Inside Wiremen, CJ
Leming and Tyler Pieszchalski, were involved with the hacking
Laborers Local 159 Dustin White¬ assisted with the hacking tower
Iron Workers Local 46 Donated the use of a generator, slings and
shackles for construction; Shane Austin assisted with the hacking
Painters and Glazers District Council 58 Allan Lauher painted the
hack box walls.
Altorfer Rents (Decatur) Jeff Doyle donated the use of a
Caterpillar TL1255 Telehandler and waived the transportation cost.
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Springfield Electric Supply Company (Decatur) Glen
Schwass donated PVC conduit valued at $160.
Kaskaskia Biological Station (INHS Sullivan) Dr. David Wahl
(Director), Matt Diana and staff provide fish for the osprey chicks,
and freezer space.
Anderson Lake (Fulton Co.):
Spoon River Electric Cooperative (Canton) Bill
Dodds (President/CEO), Frank Romane (Manager of Operations) and crew
donated and installed utility poles for the hack box supports and
nesting platforms; also provided carriage bolts and other hardware
for hack tower construction.
Illinois River Valley Conservation Group (Spring Bay) Mitch
Atherton and Joe Alig helped build the platform.
Exelon Generation/Dresdan Station (Grundy) Michael Campbell
(System Engineer) led the hack box construction effort and assisted
with building/installing nesting platforms.
Illinois River Biological Station (INHS Havana) Dr. Andy Casper
(Director), Levi Solomon and staff provide fish for the osprey
Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon (UIS): provides free lodging to
the osprey crew working at the Anderson Lake site.
Illinois Raptor Center: Jane Seitz (Executive Director) and Jacques
Nuzzo (Program Director) provide medical examinations, hydrate and
feed the osprey chicks in preparation for placement at the hack
Millikin University: Dr. Travis Wilcoxen (Assistant Professor of
Biology) conducted blood work on osprey chicks and assisted with
Illinois Natural History Survey
(UIUC): Tara Beveroth (Avian Monitoring Coordinator and Researcher)
attaches leg bands and color marks the osprey chicks.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (Springfield): Steve
Davis (Manager of Regulatory Compliance) coordinated the assistance
from the Spoon River and Shelby Electric Cooperatives.
EnerStar Electric Cooperativ (Paris): Peter Kollinger (CEO) and
Galen Satterfield (Warehouseman) donated extension ladders.
Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia: Tom Olexa (Natural Resources
Manager) coordinates and assists with collecting osprey chicks for
Illinois recovery efforts; the osprey chicks are provided free of
APHIS-USDA: Dr. Brian Washburn (Research Wildlife Biologist)
assisted with tagging satellite transmitters.
Kurent Safety, Inc. (Decatur): Geoff Harbison (Vice-President)
provided safety equipment at discounted prices.
R.P. Lumber Company (Decatur): provided construction materials at
[ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL