CONTACT: GEORGE MCCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0012
Release: July 14, 1999
Macbride Raptor Project introduces four young osprey
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Macbride Raptor Project continues
its efforts to reintroduce osprey to an Iowa habitat this week when four young
osprey are placed in a "hack tower" at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area.
The hatch-year osprey are being brought in from Wisconsin.
The media is invited to watch the osprey being placed
in a box on the tower at 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 16. Approximately 100 children
attending Macbride Wildlife Camps will also attend the osprey "hacking." The
Macbride Nature Recreation Area is located near Solon on County Road F28,
one mile north of Mehaffey Bridge Road.
The birds will be kept in the box for about two weeks
in order to acclimate them to the area in hopes that they will remain nearby
after they are released to the wild. This is the third year the project has
brought the birds back to Iowa, and the ultimate goal is to establish nesting
pairs of the birds. If that can be accomplished, project coordinators expect
that one or two birds would be hatched each year, leading to a natural recovery
of the species in this region.
The osprey can weigh between 2.75 to 4.5 pounds with
a wingspan of 5 to 6 feet, making it close in size to a small eagle. Although
the osprey is sometimes called the fish-hawk or fish-eagle, it is neither
a hawk nor an eagle, but a related species with its own classification. Ospreys
reach maturity in their third year, so the first possible nest resulting from
this Osprey Introduction Project would not be established until 2000.
The Raptor Project is co-sponsored by the University
of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and
the Iowa Department of Natural Resources also participate in the project and
have established eight nesting platforms along the Coralville Reservoir and
Lake Macbride shorelines. The Macbride Raptor Project, founded in 1985, is
devoted to preserving Iowa's birds of prey and their natural habitats. The
project achieves its goals through the rehabilitation of sick and injured
birds, educational programs for the public and field research of Iowa's native
Those who wish to attend are encouraged to arrive
at 11 a.m. in order to have time to reach the tower site. Macbride maintenance
personnel will be in the parking lot at the Macbride Raptor Center to direct
media traffic back to the hacking site. Media should be advised that high
temperature conditions could postpone the hacking.
For further information, contact Jodeane Cancilla
at the Macbride Raptor Project, (319) 398-5495.