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Hitting the streets to reunite an Osprey family

Posted by thunsdorfer at Sep 12, 2013 02:05 PM |

Sept. 12, 2013: Success! Care center staff and volunteers have reunited an Osprey family.

Hitting the streets to reunite an Osprey family

Osprey fledgling

Success! Care center staff and volunteers have reunited an Osprey family.

Earlier this summer, the care center took in an Osprey fledgling that had been removed from the wild unnecessarily. A well-meaning onlooker incorrectly assumed the bird was injured after the Osprey made an unsuccessful attempt at flight and landed in the person’s yard. The resident called local officials, and the Osprey then passed through a few good Samaritans' hands before being brought to Audubon.

Osprey fledgling, August 2013
Osprey fledgling during a final exam at the care center

In all of this turnover, the resident’s contact information was lost, but we did have a general idea of where the bird had touched down. In the hopes of reuniting the healthy fledgling with its parents, an extremely dedicated Portland Audubon volunteer walked around the neighborhood looking for people who knew the location of the Osprey nest, and voila! Locals were able to direct her to the nest, perched above a softball field on a telephone pole.

Releasing the fledgling directly onto a softball field would not have been a good idea, so care center staff found an appropriate release site that was within sight of the nest and safe from human interference.

After placing the youngster on the ground in this safe spot, staff backed off to watch the parents’ reaction from a distance. The adults quickly started calling back and forth with the fledgling and then perched nearby. The next day, the fledgling had successfully flown across a nearby creek, and its parents were still watching over it. The reunion was complete, leaving the family with enough time to get ready for fall migration.

Osprey fledgling - Tinsley Hunsdorfer
Osprey fledgling - Tinsley Hunsdorfer
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