I really enjoyed working on The Call of the Osprey, which involved ongoing osprey research by scientists at the University of Montana right around my hometown, Missoula. I was able to participate in their field work and also visit the laboratories where they analyzed the blood samples they got from osprey chicks along the local rivers. Ospreys are amazing birds, specialized for catching fish by diving down into the water and grabbing the fish in their sharp talons, then carrying it away for a meal. Readers can get a feel for how field research is carried out and can learn about the lives of osprey families. Two of the nests are equipped with videocams (Hellgate Canyon is easiest to access) so viewers can learn the details of the birds’ lives. You can learn more about how the ospreys are faring this year on this FaceBook page.

April 12, 2020  Great news–The Hellgate Canyon female for many years, Iris, has returned to her nest and already caught a big, strong trout for herself.  You can see a video of her with the fish on the FaceBook page. This “old girl” is thought to be 25 years old, which is pretty old for an osprey, but she’s clearly as strong and able as ever.  This year  could be an exciting one for the Hellgate Canyon nest!

One thing that really impressed me about these great birds is the gentle care with which the parents tend their chicks.  Since the book was written, things have changed for the ospreys involved.  The Dunroven Ranch female, Harriet,  has a new mate, Hal.  Iris, the female at the Hellgate nest, has a new mate named Louis.   Learn more about Louis Adams, the revered elder for the Salish people, and how an osprey was given his name, on my update for 2016.

The Call of the Osprey was chosen as a 2016 NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12.  You can access a Discussion and Activity Guide for the book at CallOsprey.



  1. I would love to read aloud with my students , The Call of the Osprey, and When the Wolves Returned. Possibly on YouTube or iMovie and I need your permission due to copyright.
    Better yet, would you be willing to read them and post on YouTube giving permission to use for educational purposes.
    I love your books and my role as a teacher is connecting students to place based nature learning experiences and STREAM. Hopefully creating decision makers who will protect our earth. Happy 50th Earth Day.
    Thanks for your help. Stay Safe,
    Kathy Wall
    K-5 Academic Enrichment
    Ballentine Elementary
    Fuquay Varina, NC

    Kathy Wall
    1. Thanks for you comment, Kathy. I give you permission to record reading The Call of the Osprey for your students. I need to think about When the Wolves Returned as I might decide to record that one myself. I’ll let you know what I decide. FYI take a look at my website post on The Call of the Osprey–Iris just returned to her nest; she’s probably 25 years old and such an amazing bird! I’ve added a link on my post for the video of her with the big trout she caught upon returning home. Let’s hope she finds a good mate and raises a full nest of chicks this year!
      Thanks again for your interest in my books, Dorothy

      Dorothy Patent

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