End of the road for ‘North Fork Bob’ in Central Florida


North Fork Bob, an osprey that has migrated thousands of miles from Venezuela to the North Fork multiple times while being tracked by ornithologist Rob Bierregaard, died this week in Central Florida. 

The osprey, which had made a home on the North Fork and could frequently be spotted in summer months, was migrating south when it appeared to be attacked by bald eagles nesting nearby and once injured, fell prey to coyotes or raccoons, according to Reinier Munguia, an Eaglwatch volunteer coordinator.

Mr. Munguia documented the search for North Fork Bob in a message for the Lake Region Audubon Society.

Mr. Munguia received a call saying North Fork Bob had gone missing Thursday. Using only his last coordinates as a clue, he set out in search for the osprey and found himself at a 5,000-acre cattle ranch. Overcoming poor cell service to pick up the signal of North Fork Bob’s transmitter and with the help of a worker at the ranch, he found pieces of the osprey. One wing still had the transmitter, Mr. Munguia wrote.

“Bob was no ordinary Osprey,” Mr. Munguia wrote. “He had made five monumental flights from North Fork on the northern tip of Long Island to southern Venezuela.”

North Fork Bob recently made headlines this summer when Mr. Bierregaard confirmed that he started the nesting process for the first time.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for the poor guy to find Mrs. Right,” Mr. Bierregaard said in August.

Mr. Bierregaard had tracked North Fork Bob since 2010. North Fork Bob was one of 95 birds he had tagged.

Photo credit: Tim Perry

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