Quinnipiac Meadows - An Important Bird Area, for many reasons!

Rachelle Graham

In the Quinnipiac Meadows Nature Preserve, a young osprey sat quietly perched on a dead log with her nest looming 30ft overhead. The sparse shrubs and tall grasses gave her little relief from the hot summer sun. Her parents glide high overhead, screeching concern for their little one. Too injured to fly back up, the osprey sat underneath her nest overnight and was found by a concerned passerby. Quick to react, Terry and Lorrie from A Place Called Hope (APCH) come to the rescue. Pulling up in their van -armed with thick gloves, a small net, and a soft dog carrier - these incredible volunteers gently picked up the osprey from underneath her nest.

Although this osprey no longer looked like a chick, Terry explained that they could tell that she was still a juvenile by the color of her eyes; adult ospreys have yellow eyes but this youngster still had her bright orange eyes.  She also had the mottled white spots across her back characteristic of juveniles.  

During an initial on-site exam, the only damage from the fall appeared to be a broken blood feather; these actively growing feathers have blood vessels that are needed to transport nutrients to support growth.1 After the feather has grown in, the blood vessels will shrink and dry up.1

The young osprey was gently packed up and transported to A Place Called Hope (APCH). APCH is a non-profit rehabilitation and education center for birds of prey. APCH houses injured, orphaned, or ill birds until they can be returned to the wild. Birds that cannot be released stay at APCH and become ambassadors to help educate the public about raptors and the environment.  

If you are interested in learning more about the work done at APCH visit their website at www.aplacecalledhoperaptors.com

Works Cited

1. http://www.plainfieldanimalhospital.com/patient-information/exotic-animal-veterinarians/bird-care-articles/blood-feathers/


Update 8/15/2016: After an examination and x-rays at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, it was discovered that the young osprey rescued at Quinnipiac Meadows had injuries to both wings, including an older clavicle injury that had not healed. Although we hoped that with medical care and rehabilitation the osprey could be returned to its nest, the extent of her injuries are too severe. - Lauren B.

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, August 10, 2016