Bye Bye Birdie

Oh my, famed osprey North Fork Bob has died in central Florida. It’s bad enough that he died, but in Central Florida of all places??

photo credit: Tim Perry
photo credit: Tim Perry

The first inkling I had Bob was missing or that his trackers were worried is because I follow ornithologist Rob Bierregaard’s Twitter feed…He said this over the last couple of days:

As reported by the Suffolk Times:

North Fork Bob, an osprey that has migrated thousands of miles from Venezuela to the North Fork multiple times while being tracked by ornithologist Rob Bierregaard, died this week in Central Florida.

The osprey, which had made a home on the North Fork and could frequently be spotted in summer months, was migrating south when it appeared to be attacked by bald eagles nesting nearby and once injured, fell prey to coyotes or raccoons, according to Reinier Munguia, an Eaglwatch [sic] volunteer coordinator.

Mr. Munguia documented the search for North Fork Bob in a message for the Lake Region Audubon Society.


Mr. Munguia received a call saying North Fork Bob had gone missing Thursday. Using only his last coordinates as a clue, he set out in search for the osprey and found himself at a 5,000-acre cattle ranch. Overcoming poor cell service to pick up the signal of North Fork Bob’s transmitter and with the help of a worker at the ranch, he found pieces of the osprey. One wing still had the transmitter, Mr. Munguia wrote.

“Bob was no ordinary Osprey,” Mr. Munguia wrote. “He had made five monumental flights from North Fork on the northern tip of Long Island to southern Venezuela.”

North Fork Bob recently made headlines this summer when Mr. Bierregaard confirmed that he started the nesting process for the first time.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for the poor guy to find Mrs. Right,” Mr. Bierregaard said in August.

Mr. Bierregaard had tracked North Fork Bob since 2010. North Fork Bob was one of 95 birds he had tagged.

I love that so many experts are devoted to tracking the beautiful osprey and their flight, to Venezuela – oh my. It’s extraordinary to think. Doubly sad that Bob was in the nesting process but had not found a mate.

RIP Bob.

12 thoughts on “Bye Bye Birdie

  1. The migration of birds, especially these magnificent species, is an eye-opener.

    On my first trip to Guatemala, I spotted robins that seem to be from my backyard here.

    When I mentioned to a bird expert how surprised I was to see them in Guatemala, his response was, “Think how surprised they were to see you wintering in Guatemala.”

    1. Ha ha!! Bird migration is such a fascinating field of study – how hummingbirds manage is beyond me and many of them go to Panama and beyond. Think how tired their little wings must be as compared to the osprey.

    1. There’s a first for me: a short movie about a gay flamingo. I didn’t get the whole tiger thing – the flamingo thought he’d be more macho if he got into the tiger outfit but it scared the straight bird population on the other side of the swamp but it attracted all his fellow gay flamingos. I might need the Cliff Notes version. I presume that movie was meant to be far deeper than my brain deduced.

      1. i think you have it right. just dressing up in the tiger outfit wasn’t going cut it with breeders (come on, what’s with those pink legs?), but, the flaming- os (NTTIATWWT) saw ~*fashion*~.

        thanks for fixing my mistake about poor Bob’s name. i had just finished reading about poor old George Bell in the NY Times.

      2. I presume that movie was meant to be far deeper than my brain deduced.

        Bwahahahaha. That was a perfect understatement of dismissal.

  2. I’m surprised that DHS hasn’t imposed passport and migration controls on migrating birds and made them go through pre-flight back-scatter X-ray machines. C’mon now, some of these birds could be terrorists!!!

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