"‘Emmett’ (M8) the Osprey from Montana Discovered in Rockport!" | Text & Photos by Sally Mitchell

A Map Showing the Distance
From Missoula, MT to Rockport
"I was photographing an egret when I heard a familiar bird call nearby; I looked around and spotted an osprey perched on a pole. When I zoomed in on the osprey I noticed he was wearing a royal blue leg band with the code M8 on his left leg. That was a very exciting sight; having watched an online osprey nest cam in Missoula, Montana, I recognized the band as the type used by the Montana Osprey Project.

I dashed home and sent an email with photos of M8 to Dr. Erick Greene at the University of Montana. He soon replied, “Wow – this is incredibly exciting!” He told me that M8 was one of three chicks hatched this summer in the nest on a platform at the baseball field of the Missoula Ospreys baseball team. He was banded on July 17th. Dr. Greene said M8 was looking really healthy and his feathers appeared to be in great shape.

Dr. Greene allowed me to choose a name for M8. I settled on Emmett, which sounds like M8.

Since that first sighting in late September, several other Rockport area birders & photographers have spotted Emmett. Emmett may decide to stick around Rockport for a year or more, or he may move on further south; many ospreys winter in Mexico or even Central America.

Click play to hear the call of an Osprey:

This brief video of a TV news segment shows Emmett and his siblings being banded, and explains the purposes of the Missoula Osprey Project:

And this article tells the story of Emmett’s nesting site, including the story of the goose takeover of the nest last year:

Photo of "Emmett" being banded by Dr. Erick Greene in Montana
as part of the Missoula Osprey Project

Image courtesy of Dr. Erick Greene

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