State wildlife experts are stepping up their effort to bring a rare bird back to the Hawkeye State. Osprey will be released at locations in eastern and central Iowa today, with more releases next week. One release is on the Saylorville Reservoir near Granger and the other at Hartman Reserve on the Cedar River near Cedar Rapids.Doug Harr is a wildlife diversity biologist at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Four birds will be released at each location. Harr says the osprey are making a gradual comeback in Iowa after years of being near extinction. He says a pair was spotted recently in the Spirit Lake area.Harr says the osprey used to be much more plentiful in Iowa but were hunted heavily in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Pesticides with the chemical D-D-T during the middle of the last century also helped in drastically cutting the population of osprey and bald eagles.In all, 12 osprey will be released in the next few days, all of which are being brought to Iowa from Wisconsin and Minnesota. In addition to the 9 a-m releases today near Granger and near Cedar Rapids, four more of the birds will be released Monday at the Coralville Reservoir.
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