Delaware seeking osprey monitoring volunteers

    Wildlife officials are seeking volunteers to help monitor Delaware’s osprey population.

    Populations of the large birds of prey declined in the 1950s and ’60s because of DDT, PCBs and other chemical contaminants.DDT and PCBs were banned in the 1970s and osprey populations have rebounded, helped by groups that build and maintain nesting platforms.

    Those interested in monitoring can attend an orientation at 1 p.m. March 10 at the St. Jones Research Reserve in Dover. Nesting pairs return to Delaware beginning in mid-March and monitors regularly record data such as nest building and first flights by young osprey. The data is turned in when ospreys migrate in late summer.

    State officials say that because ospreys feed primarily on fish, monitoring also provides an indication of the health of state waterways.

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