- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) - Osprey that are part of an initiative to reintroduce the fish-eating hawks in Illinois have flown south for the winter.

The milestone marks the end of the second year of an eight-year initiative from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to repopulate the birds, which are on the state’s endangered species list, the (Decatur) Herald and Review reported (https://bit.ly/1AusVyA ).

“By bringing the osprey into the state, it’s a way of kick-starting them to rebuild their population on their own,” said Patrick McDonald, an IDNR wildlife biometrician and the program’s project manager. “Our goal is to get the number of breeding pairs up so we can eventually de-list them as a state-endangered species.”

The birds that migrated this winter aren’t expected to return to Illinois for a couple of years, McDonald said.

The osprey arrived in the Decatur area in early July. They were checked at the Illinois Raptor Center and sent to two sites near Anderson Lake and Lake Shelbyville. The birds matured enough to migrate by early fall.

Birds will be released at both locations over the next few years and McDonald said certain birds will be banded with satellite transmitters to keep track of their movements.


Information from: Herald & Review, https://www.herald-review.com

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