It was early June and the call went out that Raptor Center of Tampa Bay needed help with some transports. I was ready for a road trip. The above juvenile great blue heron had been injured and needed to go to Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores Beach, just under an hour away. Nancy put him in the tote. I was a little nervous around that big beak. He settled down pretty quickly.
Since the great blue heron took up most of the trunk the almost grown barred owls went in the back seat. There were 3 altogether. Two were siblings and were in the crate while the younger one was in a carry box. These guys along with the bunny below went to the rehabber (Penny) that lives in south St. Pete. The owls are almost ready to be released and Penny will get them ready.
This little cutie sat in the front seat and only barely stirred a few times on the trip.
A few days later a young osprey had fallen out of the nest and could not be re-nested so I drove him down to Penny to raise until he can be released. Nancy told me that all of these osprey growing up on platforms is not a good thing. It’s better for osprey to nest in big trees and then the babies can hop around from branch to branch before flying (just like eagles). Most osprey in Pinellas county now nest on utility towers or platforms placed by utility companies to keep them off the towers. Just like most other counties the over population means so many trees are being cut down for homes and buildings. On platforms the babies start flapping and fall right to the ground. The parents won’t feed the babies once they are on the ground and many of them have some type of injury. The baby was calm in Nancy’s arm even though she managed a few yells before going in the transport box.
Another few days went by and there were more juvenile osprey on the ground. I picked up two of them at Nancy’s (of Raptor Center of Tampa Bay) in Brandon and headed down to Save Our Seabirds in Sarasota. All of the rehabbers are full of birds and they could only take one osprey.
I have been here to visit the sanctuary as a tourist several times but it was the first time to come through the emergency back door. I was able to see the clinic for a few minutes but they were crazy busy so I left to make my next drop off.
It was a beautiful day to be out on the bridges. First coming back on the Ringling Bridge in Sarasota and then across the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
I dropped the final osprey off at Penny’s. She took her out of the crate and she didn’t seem afraid of her at all. If all goes well she’ll be released soon.