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Ospreys in Missoula: Spring 2018 Update

It’s early April, and time for ospreys to get back to work remodeling their nests and starting new families. Iris, the female osprey at the Hellgate osprey cam in Missoula, Montana, and her mate Louis, have both arrived and set to work.

After Iris’s earlier mate, Stanley, failed to return in 2016, Louis showed up late in the season and bonded with Iris. Last year, high, muddy water in the Clark Fork River, which runs close to the nest, made fishing very challenging for the ospreys, and their chicks died of starvation. We can hope this year will be different, but once again, the mountains carry heavy snow pack, which can lead once again to high and muddy water.

You can view a video of Iris and Louis’ reunion here!

To learn more about the interdisciplinary work scientists at the University of Montana do with osprey, including the monitoring of mercury poisoning and contaminants in the birds’ feathers and blood, check out SITF title The Call of the Osprey.

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

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