Last month we were part of a rescue with an osprey in Cocoa Beach. The bird had been found in a driveway unable to fly and while we were trying to corral it, the parents were keeping close tabs on it from atop a power pole.
After capturing the bird and transporting it to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, we learned that it was a young-of-the-year bird that had likely fallen out of its nest. Since it hadn't fledged yet, it was unable to fly. Center staff weighed and inspected it. The young osprey was dehydrated and suffered from parasites.
After nearly a month of regular feeding and flight training, Audobon called yesterday and said they were ready to return him. It was part of nearly a half-dozen osprey releases they had going today.
The volunteers removed the box from their vehicle and picked a spot near the river on the property where we had rescued him. They wanted an area that was somewhat open and facing away from the river with natural tree cover that would prevent the bird from heading toward the water. It worked. They opened the cardboard box and our charge took off in a blur.
Very cool and rewarding being part of a rescue and release that keeps these beautiful, wild creatures in the sky.