Osprey – magnificent fish-hunting raptors with striking brown and white plumage – can be seen along Michigan’s shallow, fish-filled waters.

Severely affected by the pesticide DDT, these large birds were listed as a threatened species in Michigan after a sharp population decline in the 1960s according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of MI Birds partners including the DNR, Detroit Zoological Society and Huron-Clinton Metroparks, the osprey was successfully reintroduced to southern Michigan and removed from the threatened species list in 2009.

It is incredibly important that osprey continue to be monitored closely statewide. Michigan Osprey has monitored nests in several areas of southeastern Michigan and the DNR and Detroit Zoo are hoping to expand this monitoring effort throughout the Lower Peninsula with the Adopt-A-Nest osprey monitoring program.

Watch video here of a female osprey working on her nest on the Ferris State University Osprey Web Cam.

“Volunteer community scientists, like you, can adopt a nest for the summer” said DNR wildlife biologist Julie Oakes. “All ages and experience levels are welcome.”

Oakes said that a minimum commitment of three 30-minute nest visits between the end of March and early July is all it takes to determine 1) if there is a nesting attempt, 2) if birds are actively nesting, and 3) if there are any chicks in the nest. Binoculars are adequate for most observations and many nests are easily viewed from public roads. Training sessions will be offered.

Sign up here for the Adopt-A-Nest program.

MI Birds is a public outreach and education program created by Audubon Great Lakes and the DNR.

For more information contact MI Birds Program Associate Erin Rowan at 313-820-0809.

Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ferris State University Osprey Web Cam.

Photo courtesy of facebook.com/Ferris State University Osprey Web Cam.