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Osprey Distribution, Abundance, and Status in Western North America: III. The Baja California and Gulf of California Population





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An estimated 810 ± 55 pairs (minimum estimate) of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) were nesting in the study area during our survey (24 March-1 April 1977). Approximately 174 pairs nested along the Pacific side of Baja California, 255 pairs along the gulf side, 187 pairs on the Midriff Islands, and 194 pairs in coastal Sonora and Sinaloa. Most nested on cliffs adjacent to the sea (59%); some nested on cactus in flat terrain (26%). Seven per cent nested on the ground, three percent nested in mangroves and other trees in the southern portion of the study area, and four percent nested on man-made structures. The extreme northwestern Baja California population that was extirpated early in this century has not recovered. However, several populations immediately to the south along the Pacific Coast now appear stationary. Pesticide residues in osprey eggs from Mexico were among the lowest reported for the species in North America.