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  • Writer's picturePam Narney

Living on Osprey Time

Pam Narney

The Garbage-Canned Osprey Number 13

August 13, 2021

Resolute and Louise ignoring each other

Food arrives.

Resolute gets to it first and mantles it to protect it.

At the nest Louise and Resolute fight over food that Gracie brought. We have seen this sibling rivalry before. The usual stuff, until all of a sudden it isn’t.

Sneaking up on Resolute

Getting ready

Returning to stealth mode

Give it to me!


Louise attacks Resolute

They fight. Wings and talons fly. Neither will give up. Louise actually mounts Resolute’s back and pokes him in the head with her beak.

Finally, Louise flies off with the food.

Resolute remains, deprived of another meal.

Later that evening, our area gets a tremendous thunder storm. At twilight, I see an Osprey in the water under the nest. Patiently, I wait to see her lift up and fly into the trees or onto a pier.

This does not happen.

It is raining lightly, but the lightening is powerful.

She tires, but she cannot lift off. She has a problem.

I run out of the house, yelling “Osprey Down” at my husband. Grabbing the boat hook, I head for the water.

As she approaches, thrusting her wings through the water, I try to get her to grab onto the boat hook and hang on.

This doesn’t work. Wrong tool for the job.

Husband John shows up with the net. Several times I get her in the net, but she scrambles out. By this time she is under the neighbor’s pier heading away. I get her in the net once more, but can’t lift her out. I seriously consider going into the water after her.

That is maybe not the stupidest idea I have ever had, but it's close.

Suddenly our neighbor Kaz appears. He takes the net, gets on his standup paddleboard, and paddles behind the Osprey.

I've jumped to the conclusion that this Osprey is Resolute, based on the day’s attacks and Resolute’s status as runt in the family. Resolute is also the least likely to survive, and has been subservient and timid.

Kaz catches her, brings her to shore, and releases her onto the grassy hill. She is so exhausted that she doesn't resist Kaz as he handles her.

She sits and stares at us, but doesn’t move. She should fly away eventually, but doesn’t.

Now we have another problem: What do we do with her? How can we contain her without hurting her.

I run home, grab my phone and start calling every t contact I have. Some answer and give me other naturalists to call.

Back outside, it is still raining. The lighting is more intense. The ink is running off my sticky notes.

No one has any answers.

I call another neighbor who is also interested in Ospreys. Nina calls Diana O’Connor, from the currently non-active Wild Bunch Wildlife Rescue and Rehab. Diana gives Nina a phone number, telling her that this man has runners all over the state who pick up distressed and wounded birds and bring them to his facility in Southern Suffolk.

Diana also suggests that we put the Osprey in a clean garbage can and drape a towel over the top. We need to keep her warm.

Kaz to the rescue again. The fact that Resolute lets Kaz catch and carry her is testament to how distressed and weak she is.

I deeply regret that we have no pictures of this adventure.

Now we have an Osprey in a garbage can, and no one has lost an eye or been scarred for life. Yet. Razor-sharp talons and beaks can do lots of ripping, tearing, and scraping.

One soaked and totally exhausted Osprey in a garbage can

I call Diana’s referred number and leave a message.

By this time, I am back in the house looking up numbers for Fisheries and Wildlife, DCR, etc, and calling them on the house phone.

Fish and Wildlife call back. I talk to a very nice woman when my cell phone rings. I ask her to wait, please. She does. Bless her.

It’s Tommy White. I explain the situation to him. He says he will take care of it. A few minutes later, one of his runners calls and says, "Text us your address. We will be there tomorrow morning."

We, I suspect John, moves the garbage-canned Osprey to our garage. We partially cover the top.

Resolute still offers no challenges or resistance.

Now what? Will the garage be too hot? The temperature humidity index was over 100 today.

If I leave the door open, other wildlife or the neighborhood cats might get in. If the cats get in, that will be the last time they poke their heads into anything, John smirks.

We go back into the house for a restless night.

How badly is Resolute injured? Will she be alive in the morning?

Is this Osprey actually Resolute? Observant Osprey watchers might have the answer by now.

Resolute at the Rescue Center

Resolve at Alton's Keep Rescue and Rehab Center

Alton’s Keep Wildbird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, South Suffolk, VA on Facebook

To contact Tommy White about injured birds, call 1-757-416-4098

Part 2 of the Garbage-Canned Osprey coming soon

Resolute’s Journey to the Refuge Number 13


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