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Original Osprey Brought To Indiana As Part Of Restoration Program Spotted At Patoka Lake
Updated August 3, 2017 4:26 AM
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(PATOKA) - The Department of Natural resources says a 14-year-old Osprey, one of the original Ospreys brought to Indiana in 2003 as part of a restoration program, is still nesting successfully at Patoka Lake.

Biologists brought this osprey and 95 others to Indiana from 2003 to 2006 for a restoration program that "hacked" or released young ospreys at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, Minnehaha Fish & Wildlife Area, Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area and Patoka Lake.

Wildlife photographer Stuart Forsythe photographed the osprey at Patoka Lake on July 5th. Forsythe's image included the bird's leg band identification number. He sent the images to DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife biologists, who used the numbers to determine that the bird arrived in Indiana in 2003 from Newport News, Virginia.

Forsythe's photo also showed a juvenile osprey, proving the banded bird had successfully raised offspring this year.

Ospreys begin breeding in late March and nest until early August. An average clutch includes three eggs that hatch in about a month. Then, parents care for the chicks for four-and-a-half months until they become independent.

DNR officials are considering removing the osprey from the state-endangered species list because the restoration has been so successful. In 2016, 64 osprey pairs were documented, with 11 new nests found in 16 counties. Fayette County had a nest site identified for the first time in 2016.

The osprey reintroduction program was one of several endangered species restoration projects initiated by DNR wildlife diversity staff.

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