HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — A crew from the Virginia Aquarium went throughout Hampton Roads Tuesday to check on the health and welfare of the local osprey population.
“The Chesapeake Bay region has the largest concentration of osprey in the world,” said Reese Lukei Jr., with the Center For Conservation Biology. “We’re estimating currently about 6,000 pair within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which would include all the osprey here in the Tidewater area.”
Use of DDT in the 1950s and 60s seriously hurt the osprey population, along with several other species of birds.
“We found out too late in our application of it that we were destroying a large segment of our bird population, including the osprey.”
The osprey have since made a comeback.
When officials find an osprey while counting their population, the bird is weighed and tagged. This is to see if the bird comes back next year and it helps determine the age of the osprey.
“We know these birds fro example go as far away as Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico.”
The birds are also a status symbol of the health of a body of water.
As far as the Lynnhaven River is concerned…
“We have a much healthier river today than we had 25 years ago,” Lukei said.