The International Osprey Foundation

Dedicated to the preservation of the Osprey


We know many of you renew your memberships with us at the meeting so please look for a mailing with our annual newsletter and membership renewal in May 2020 or click the link below to our membership form to print the 2020 form and post it now.

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PRESS RELEASE, January 13 2020

Rachel Rainbolt from CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) told the crowd about the clinic's wildlife rescue program and talked especially about raptors, such as the Osprey. More than 40 people attended a volunteer meeting for nest monitors for The International Osprey Foundation (TIOF) on January 7 at The Community House, Sanibel.

The nesting season is under way and runs through May or June. Teams monitor more than 70 nests on Sanibel and others on Fort Myers Beach and Captiva. Keeping tabs on nest productivity is important as the osprey is an apex predator and an indicator of water/environmental quality.

James Schnell, TIOF treasurer, told the group about the ongoing nest maintenance program and what has been done and still needs to be done. Some 15 nest sites were reported as needing maintenance in the past year; 10 platforms were replaced in the past six months; 15 platforms have been made to a new design by volunteer Jim Columbo and replaced; and three sites will require a new pole as well as platform repair. Carlos Hernandez and his crew from Fort Myers have been donating their labor to install the new platforms, Schnell noted. Those unable to attend the meeting but who are interested in volunteering may contact Carol Smith, nest monitor coordinator, at 815-474-9281.

PR Contact Anne Mitchell, 239-233-0014.

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The TIOF board, James Schnell (back) and, from left, Carol Smith, Susan Tucker and Kathryn Brintnall"`

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Pictures from Osprey Nesting Box Installation and a thank you email for TIOF Jan 15 2020

"Ma'am, I am sending pictures of the nesting box installation that took place today. Ned Bruha came first thing this morning and did a wonderful job. I want to thank you and him both for making this happen for me. I cannot wait for the osprey to start building a nest again and this time it will have a stable platform on which to build. Thank you so much for you help with this wonderful project that I was not sure how to even get it started let alone completed and you helped me achieve that. Please thank Ned for me if and when you see him."

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PRESS RELEASE Nov 5th 2019

SANIBEL ISLAND, The International Osprey Foundation (TIOF) has a new teaching tool – an interactive scale model of an osprey platform.

“I could see that the children really connected with it and enjoyed putting sticks in it at BaileyFest,” said Susan Tucker, TIOF president.

Jim Columbo, who makes platforms for the Sanibel-based foundation to replace rotted or damaged ones, came up with the idea.

“I first got the idea of a scale model of an osprey platform when we were volunteering at the TIOF booth at 'Ding' Darling Days in October,” he said.

“I noticed right away that a lot of the other organization's booths at the event had interactive displays for people walking by, especially for children. I looked at the TIOF booth and all we had were newsletters and T-shirts. I heard someone mention it would be nice to have a model of an osprey platform to look at and thought right away it would be easy to make, especially after constructing 16 of the full scale platforms.”

He added, “The following Monday morning I went into my garage and found enough scrap pieces of wood to put together the model. I used a 1/8 scale and spent about two hours putting it together.” It was ready for its first outing, to Baileyfest October 27.

According to Tucker, “It is an interactive model with replicas of an adult osprey and chicks. There are fish in the water that the osprey can pick up with magnets and bring back to the nest that have chicks waiting. It is actually pretty cool!” The model platform even has a predator guard and a perch.

The display was created by Kathryn Brintnall, a TIOF board member.


From left, Jim Columbo, Susan Tucker and Merry Merryfiel, nest monitor team leader, with the model at BaileyFest.

The 1/8th scale model of the osprey platform, made by Jim Columbo, has all the features of an actual platform.

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July 2019

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Osprey Foundation Awards Grants To Treat Injured birds in South Carolina

Picture by kind permission of Judie Zimomra

The International Osprey Foundation (TIOF), based on Sanibel, recently set about re-organizing and appointing new board members. The result is a renewed commitment to its goal of protecting and preserving osprey populations worldwide.
To that end, TIOF has awarded a $3,000 grant to the Avian Conservation Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
The grant request allows the center to provide medical treatment for the roughly 30 injured ospreys admitted to the center’s avian clinic throughout the year and educate more than 40,000 students and individuals annually on the importance of ospreys and their conservation both locally and globally. It will also allow the center to maintain and expand vital partnerships with industry professionals who utilize Avian Protection Programs that prioritize the conservation of osprey nest sites amidst utility company operations.
Daniel Prohaska, the center's director of development, said TIOF's support "will have a significant impact on our osprey conservation work here in South Carolina," he said. "We are very excited by the alignment between our missions and are grateful to be a part of your work. We look forward to staying in touch and building on this work together now and in the future," Prohaska added.
The Avian Conservation began in 1991 with a single injured osprey is now a professional facility that has treated over 10,000 birds and includes the capacity to treat birds impacted by toxic spills.
Along the way, the center has published groundbreaking research into environmental threats that affect both birds and people. Its mission is to identify and address vital environmental issues by providing medical care to injured birds of prey and shorebirds, and through educational, research, and conservation initiatives.
The Avian Research Center provides:
* Professional medical treatment for more than 700 injured/orphaned birds of prey and shore birds each year, releasing the majority back to their natural habitat utilizing strict criteria providing sound assurance of their survivability in the wild;
* Maintains 115 resident educational birds representing 50 species from around the world – among the most significant collections of captive birds of prey in the United States;
* Outreach to 40,000+ students and adults each year through on-site and off-site educationalprograms, highlighting the threats to birds from habitat loss, contaminants, and other human-related risk factors, as well as the key role that wild birds play as crucial environmental sentinels;
* Annual research projects including a fall coastal raptor migration survey and a citizen science survey of the endangered swallow-tailed kite; * Service as the only permanent Oiled Bird Response Facility of its kind on the eastern seaboard, affording the most efficient response possible in the event of a contaminant spill affecting native bird populations and their fragile breeding habitats;
* A professional staff representing over 75 years of collective avian experience, and a Volunteer Staff Program that provides more than 20,000 skilled volunteer service hours each year.
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Earlier news

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Jim Griffith June 2nd, 1935 - April 26, 2019

The International Osprey Foundation lost one of its champions on April 26 with the death of Past President Jim Griffith. He was an engineer by profession and a true environmentalist by nature.

Jim was also a volunteer for many causes and on many levels in Georgia and Sanibel including Boy Scouts, Rotary, and Sunday School. On Sanibel he was also president of the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society from 2010-19 and was also involved with CROW (Clinic for rehabilitation of wildlife), Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, the J.N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge and TIOF, of which he was president from 2013-19.

He diligently worked to repair Osprey platforms and built platforms as needed or requested.

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Grants and donations

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