When our animal control officers received a call from Bayonne about an injured bird we expected to find a sparrow or a crow—but instead, they found an osprey. The bird had singed feathers and burns on its legs and feet, probably after an encounter with a methane exhaust chimney in the Meadowlands, and we transferred it immediately to The Raptor Trust for rehabilitation. (Amazingly, ospreys have made a comeback in NJ. They love to roost and nest on high structures, ideally trees and nesting platforms, but sometimes telephone and utility poles and the occasional exhaust pipe chimney in landfills.)
The Raptor Trust was able to treat the burns with creams and pain medications, but the bird’s feathers could not be fixed so quickly. Ospreys only molt once a year and this one would not grow in new feathers for many more months. To complicate the situation, ospreys are migratory birds that prefer to winter in a warm climate. It is unlikely that this bird would have thrived during a harsh NJ winter, so the bird was flown to a wild bird rehabilitator in Florida where it spent a sunny winter recuperating, and was released back into the wild once its new feathers molted in.
LHS has also brought dozens of pigeons, geese, ducks, falcons, herons and many smaller birds to The Raptor Trust, which is located in the Great Swamp in Millington. The organization has three goals: to provide free care and assistance to injured, sick, or orphaned wild birds, to educate people about wild birds, especially birds of prey, and to provide a humane example for others. We are proud to partner with this nationally recognized leader in wild bird rehabilitation and the conservation of birds of prey!