Ospreys Returning to Iowa

By: Iowa Departmant of Natural Resources Email
By: Iowa Departmant of Natural Resources Email

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will place 10, 42-day-old ospreys at Mud Lake, in Dubuque County, and Swan Lake, in Carroll County. The young ospreys are developed enough to tear apart their favorite food, fish, by themselves, and will be attaining flight status about 53 days of age.

“Where the birds learn to fly and fish on their own becomes their ‘home’ where survivors return to nest at four or five years of age,” said Pat Schlarbaum, wildlife technician at the Boone Research Station.

Last year, 18 nesting pairs had 14 successful nest attempts with 32 young produced. Since 1997, 249 ospreys have been released at 12 sites.

Wild osprey pairs have returned from overwintering sites in Central and South America and re-establishing nest sites throughout Iowa. Since 2003, 72 wild ospreys have been produced at 38 successful nests.

A release site at Spirit Lake has a camera on one of their two nesting pairs.

For more information, contact Pat Schlarbaum, Wildlife Diversity Technician, Boone Research Station, 515-432-2823.


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