Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Great Outcome on a Dreary Day

This morning I made a return visit to Sedge Islands WMA to check on one nestling that was entangled with ribbon when I did my original survey on June 27th. The nestling was approximately 1 week old when I first visited and it had two other siblings. The ribbon was wrapped around its whole body, under the wings, and then tightly around one leg. Luckily, the ribbon did not look to be impacting the delivery of blood to the foot; however, it had hindered the development of muscle tissue where it was wrapped. When I cut it off, there was a depression left in the leg and I had feared that the leg would not properly develop.

On my way to the nest this morning (with my own personal boat, the "Otter Boat," a boat that will be used more for work with ospreys than fishing...) it started to drizzle (figures) and there was a 1-2 ft. chop. No matter what I was still not going to give up, so I pressed on from Skipper's Cove to Sedge. The boat ran great, but as soon as I got out near Sedge it started to downpour. It was raining so hard I couldn't even see any land around me. So I slowly motored towards Sedge and when I got there I stopped to let whatever hard rain was left, pass. Luckily it passed in less than 10 minutes. Then I headed towards the nest. Both adults were present and I climbed up and saw the three nestlings, now approximately 5 weeks old. I looked at all their legs and could not distinguish which one had the ribbon on its leg (a good sign). I then banded all three with USGS bird bands for future tracking. I am hopeful that this young osprey will survive and return to New Jersey to breed. The odds are stacked against him/her with all the other challenges that it will face over the next two years, but I am hopeful.

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