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100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Editors note: The birds will be brought to the Macbride Nature Recreation Area. While members of the media are welcome, the Macbride Raptor Project does not wish to disclose the exact location of the birds to the public. The birds are scheduled to arrive at approximately 11 a.m. For a more precise time, please phone the contact above Thursday morning.

Macbride Raptor Project introduces new birds to Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Macbride Raptor Project will bring four young osprey to the Coralville Reservoir Thursday, July 17 in an attempt to facilitate their nesting in Iowa.

The fish eating bird of prey will be placed in a hack tower and fed and monitored for 10 days before their release. According to Jodeane Cancilla, project coordinator of the Macbride Raptor Project, the osprey is one of the few birds of prey that dive under the water to catch food. "It's fantastic to watch," she said. "The birds are able to dive head first in the water and catch fish with their feet."

The Macbride Raptor Project is leading the pilot program to bring the birds to Iowa. The four birds are approximately 45 days old and were bred in Wisconsin. Slightly smaller than an eagle, a black band around the birds' eyes resembles that of a raccoon.

After the birds are released from the hack tower, Cancilla and her crew will monitor the osprey from canoes and boats. The birds will be banded and their wings painted to make them more visible.

The project is sponsored in conjunction with the Wildlife Diversity Program, a branch of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Macbride Raptor Project is co-sponsored by the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. Founded in 1985, it is devoted to preserving Iowa's birds of prey and their natural habitats. The project achieves its goals through the rehabilitation of sick and injured raptors, educational programs for the public and field research of Iowa's native raptors.

For more information about the osprey or the Macbride Raptor Project, contact Jodeane Cancilla at 319-398-5495.