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Environment and Outdoors

Scientists Unravel Mystery of Osprey Migration

By Michael Casey - The Associated Press
TILTON, N.H. - By putting tracking devices on ospreys, scientists are unraveling some of the mysteries behind the marathon migration of these fish-eating birds.

The brown and white birds spend their spring and summer in New England breeding before flying thousands of miles to South America. They spend their winters there.

The trackers - using miniature GPS-enabled satellite transmitter technology that fits on a bird's back - offer reams of information. Scientists now have a detailed picture of the route the birds take, the bottlenecks along the way and how storms, shootings and collision with ships are often killing them.

The interest in the osprey comes as the birds are experiencing a resurgence. Their numbers have risen from a 100 pairs a few decades ago in New England to more than 2,000.