Osprey #19-0430

April 16, 2019
Rescue Location
Gloucester County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Collision with tree
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On April 15, an adult Osprey was rescued by a VGDIF Conservation Police Officer after the bird collided with a tree in Gloucester County and was unable to fly. A nearby permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility assessed and stabilized the Osprey, and the bird was transported to the Wildlife Center the following day.

During the initial examination, Osprey #19-0430 was in decent body condition and appeared bright and alert. Several old wounds were seen on the bird’s legs and feet, but were deemed to likely be a result of interactions with other Osprey and unrelated to the bird’s circumstance of rescue. Throughout the physical exam, the veterinary staff found no obvious sings of bone fractures, soft tissue damage, or swelling.

Radiographs confirmed that no bones or internal organs had been damaged, but the veterinary staff noted an abnormal, inflamed appearance of the bird’s gastrointestinal tract. The staff collected a fecal sample, since inflammation can be a sign of internal parasites, which later tested negative. An eye examination was unremarkable, and blood work was within normal limits.

While no significant wounds were found, collision-based injuries can often result in neurologic trauma. The Osprey was kept in an indoor enclosure for several days where the veterinary staff closely monitored the bird’s neurologic status, and a preventative regimen of antifungal medication was administered. On April 19, the bird’s condition had improved, and it was moved to a small outdoor enclosure.

For now, the Osprey will remain outdoors and will be observed before physical conditioning is considered. A definitive answer as to how or why this bird collided with a tree and was unable to evade capture has not yet been determined, but the staff will continue to monitor and evaluate the Osprey during the coming weeks.

While Osprey are typically a difficult species to treat in captivity, the initial prognosis for this patient’s survival and recovery is fair.

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Patient Updates

As of April 30, patient #19-0430 was eating well but still appeared unable to fly. Osprey can be difficult to manage in captivity and require flight pens with large open spaces. Although the Center has large flight pens, their configuration does not necessarily work well for conditioning Osprey patients.

On May 1, Osprey #19-0430 was transferred to another rehabilitation facility with flight enclosures that meet the Osprey’s needs; the facility with continue treatment and condition the bird for release.