July 24, 2010

Osprey banding and Kestrel release 7-9-10

Wildlife rehabilitators Bobby and Cathy Horvath were asked to band 3 Osprey eyasses at Eagle Dock Community Beach in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. They invited me along for the experience, which would be followed by releasing nine Kestrel fledglings in Flushing Meadow Park.

The Osprey banding went smoother than I anticipated. Bobby confidently removed the three eyasses from the nest via a ladder, while the parents protested loudly nearby. On the ground, Cathy and I held the birds while Bobby banded them. I had never been so close to an Osprey before, and the experience gave me a whole new respect for these birds. They are larger than the Hawks or Kestrels I have handled in the past, and quite powerful in general. Also, as you can see from these pictures, they are quite beautiful in appearance.

Bobby removes the eyasses

Cathy holds the powerful young Osprey while Bobby bands it
The eyasses are safely returned to the nest after banding
Mom returns to check up on her brood

Members of the Long Island Press attended the days events, and did a full story on the lives of Bobby and Cathy Horvath. You can view the article here.

Photographer Francois Portmann also attended the events, his terrific photos can be seen at his blog. He also has pictures of a rare White Pelican on his blog worth checking out.

Next stop was Flushing Meadow Park to release nine fledgling Kestrels ready to return to the wild. These Kestrels fledged early from their nest spots, and end up grounded on the streets of New York City and Long Island. They are unable to fly upward into a tree to get away from danger (cars, dogs, cats, people, etc.), so  Bobby and Cathy hold onto them for a few weeks till they are able to fly. All nine Kestrels (6 female, 3 male) are well fed and have spent time in a flight cage, so they are ready to go. The Horvath's have received at least 35 Kestrels from around the city so far this year, all birds that may have perished if not for there help. Kestrels numbers in the wild seem to be decreasing, but thanks to Bobby and Cathy their numbers appear to be on the rise in NYC.

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