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Thread subject: Osprey Orphans
Name Date Message
Luc DeRoche 08/06/04 10:15 pm Hi,

Just found this site through Google! Very informative. Just a little introduction, I'm a volunteer and amateur bird rehabilitator in New Brunswick Canada (eastern Canada). I now have two juvenile Ospreys from two separate sites admitted one, a few days after the first.

One is more emaciated that the other but all in all, are in very good shape. Their prospects for rehabilitation is thus, very good. Imagine the first case; the bird was found grounded after the nest tree had been chopped down! (there are imbeciles everywhere).

Anyhow, I feed trout to both with forceps, none wants to eat by himself for now. I expect them to eat on their own soon and if all goes well, I'll introduce one to the other.

Anyhow, keep up the good work.
Cecilia 08/06/04 10:56 pm All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Luc, you have to tell us more. You have landed on the right site for sure....there aren't too many people in the world who care more about ospreys than the folks who set up this site and all of us who have been watching and recording the daily life of an osprey family on New York.

The organization than set up this camera is connected to various other osprey rescue and rehabilitation entities...and may be able to help you with information and support if you need it.

Please tell us more about your situation and the condition of the ospreys that you are caring for. Do you have veterinary assistance, experience raising raptors, is there a bird sanctuary that could assist you, etc?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well with you and your feathered invalids...but please let us know what's happening and it we can help you in any way!
Marie 08/06/04 11:08 pm Luc, that is fantastic. 'A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush'...what truth there is in this saying. How fortunate for you to be able to look directly into those lovely orange eyes of the young birds, and to marvel at their exquisite plumage...please do tell us more about your work with these two. You might even be able to tell us if these young birds favour, more often, the right foot or left foot when holding fish. Thank you for your most interesting post.
Celeste 08/07/04 11:01 am Wow!!!!Yes you must keep us updated. From my readings young osprey will tolerate being handled by humans. Looking forward to your observations and updates. Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your find!.
Luc DeRoche 08/07/04 12:09 pm Hi,

Both birds are doing well although they aren't self feeding yet. I feed them trout with forceps, it would be foolish to use one's fingers, lol. I've received advice that having them both in the same enclosure will help in their rehabilitation so I'll introduce one to the other this afternoon.

As for veterinarian help, I'm afraid no one in a 300 mile radius is qualified in avian science. I do consult local pet vets, occasionaly the vet school in Prince Edward Island, but that's about it. There is a profesional rehab facility some 350 miles from here and I do, once in a while, contact them. Otherwise, I'm on my own! Well not really, I do a lot of web searching and have been able to get by quite nicely.

As for experience, I've been rehabbing wild bird for the past seven years, have keep over 70 species including most raptors/owls found in our geographical region. With the two in hand, I think I must of had half a dozen or so Ospreys. Last one I had, I trained him with a creance device in order to strenghen his chest muscles for flight. He was released last September I believed and had a wonderfull, long and gracefull flight to freedom.

It is VERY exciting to hold and have wild birds so close to one. Indeed these piercing orange eyes are fantastic to look into! As for their foot techniques, good question, I'll keep you posted.

All wild birds are apprehensive of humans. Juvenile Osprey are no exceptions but contrary to accipiters or buteos are not very agressive.

Realizing that probably none of you read French, I'll post my website adress anyhow;

http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/lderoche/SROS.htm
Kathy 08/07/04 01:26 pm Enjoyed reading about your progress, keep us informed with more updates.
Cecilia 08/07/04 02:41 pm Luc,

Sounds like you have your hands full so thanks for keeping us informed! I'm hoping to become a cetified wildlife rehabilitator after I retire so you are living my dream right now :-) Do you have any idea what happened to the two ospreys that you have? (perhaps from the people who brought them to you) Did you band the ones that you released? I can't imagine how they would learn to fish without adult ospreys to teach them.

I looked at your web site (alas I don't speak or read French) and I saw the pictures of the tree/perches that you made and maybe a special building for birds? Looks like you are really well set up.

I'm sure we all hope to stay in touch and hear how you and the birds are doing. When this thread gets pushed off the page (by the new messages) just start a new one.

And good luck!
Celeste 08/07/04 03:13 pm Cecilia has echoed all my thoughts and questions, so please do keep in touch. We are all so very interested in your experience with this raptor.
Celeste 08/07/04 03:18 pm Just one more thing....I noticed images of some birds, one of which was an osprey, and a loon, etc. Are these birds you have taken care of in the past? Is the photo of the osprey the current chick you are now nursing? I am assuming that the building is on your property and that is where you take care of your birds. I am waiting for my husband to come home from work and hopefully "translate" for me. He chose French in high school, unfortunately I chose a different language!
Luc DeRoche 08/07/04 05:08 pm Cecilia,

The first case involved having the nest tree chopped down, thus my comment on "imbeciles". The second, a blowdown is suspected. As I'm sure you're aware, Ospreys continue nesting on the same nest, adding materials every year. Eventually, the structure desintegrates.

In New Brunswick and in Canada, rehabbers don't band, the Canadian Wildlife Service does not believe it to be of any significant value.

From what I've read, young Ospreys will naturally congregate around waterways, observe adults fishing and eventually imitate them. The only hunting training I do with raptors/owls is with live mice, that technique consists of releasing live mice in their enclosures. The poor things (mice) stand no chance although they try hiding under the leaf litter...

The building is attached to a heated garage where some birds are kept initially. The building itself is comprised of three enclosures 12' feet wide, two of which are 12' feet long and one 18'. All are connected and can be opened to created a large "L" shape space. And yes, the building is in my backyard.

As for the pics, yes these are all birds which are no longer in care.
Shelley 08/07/04 06:00 pm Luc, welcome to our board!! How I wish you had found us sooner, I am sure you would absolutely LOVE to have watched our 3 osprey (sorry, I guess that's a bit possessive of me...;-)) from the time they hatched to the present. In the menu to the left, under the heading *Osprey Cam*, you can catch up by reading and viewing the Highlight Clips, stills, and commentary.


I live in Ontario, wish it was closer so I could volunteer, help you out and learn! How did you get started in this wonderful mission of yours? I was also going to ask about the banding but Cecilia beat me to it. I had no idea it was not done here!

Luc, I am sure such an endeavor as yours takes a lot of time and effort but I do hope you will return to this site and continue to enlighten us. Do you know about the book Return of the Ospreys, by David Gessner? It is a book that has been quoted from and referred to her, a great deal.

Anyhow, again, welcome, Luc
Marie 08/07/04 07:04 pm Hi Luc, I am absolutely fascinated with your devotion and committment to the injured BIRDS.How do you manage to care for all those feathered friends? Do you have help or is it usually only one or two BIRDS at a time in your care. I expect this is your love. Is it your full time hobby or is it your life's work? Sleep must be a precious commodity for you as injured birds need 24 hr care in many situations.It is also expensive. As for banding...Canada does band Birds. We have two sations here in Victoria., however one needs a permit and there are other rules and regulations. I have actually banded birds myself under strict supervision. It was awesome and scary at the same time. There are other banding stations in BC as well as other parts of the country.Why the CWS said what they said to you is rather short sighted! It certainly goes on in CANADA. as well as many other parts of the world. Do keep us posted...this is such a great story and time is running out for us that watch the cam. Hopefully you will get them well fed and strong soon so they too can head south before it is too late. Perhaps if you post a message for Marylin who has helped with relocating young ospreys, and has been involved with their training. She might well have some very helpful information as to how one goes about teaching the young ospreys to fish. Short of setting up your own small paddling/swimming pool with live fish in it to get them started, I really can't think of how I would accomplish this very important skill they must master before they migrate. It appears you are skilled anyways since you have been caring for birds for seven years and have already had ospreys in the past..Good luck, Luc
Luc DeRoche 08/08/04 05:58 am Shelly,

I've always liked wildlife, as a boy, I used to bring injured and abandonned birds home. I began birding on a more serious basis in the mid nineties and that sort of rekindled my interest in rehabbing.
Luc DeRoche 08/08/04 06:09 am Marie,

Rehabbing takes a lot of my time, especially in late Spring, Summer and early Fall. I have a full time job which gives me a lot of flexibility, thus enabling me to work with birds. I can be seen in the office with the odd margarine container. People stop me and ask me what's with all the chirping? I open up the container to show them a baby swallow and you should see the amazement in their eyes when they see this tiny, defenseless being!

As for the number of birds I can take care of at one time, well that depends on the species. Obviously space for the large species is at a premium and I can't very well take care of more than half a dozen or so but for the "caging" variety, I have more options. The most I've had at one time was 7 I believe.

As for banding, I wrote that the CWS doesn't issue permits to rehabbers, banding is allowed in other circumstances. Take for instance Ducks Unlimited, they band across the country.
Celeste 08/08/04 11:02 am Thank you for everything you write Luc. We look forward to reading whatever info you offer. Last night my husband "tried" translating your website. Very interesting site.
Marie 08/08/04 11:57 am I checked out your web site too LUC last evening. What a wonderful set up and I see you have a kids paddling pool already. ;-)) Those birds are SO LUCKY to have people like you who go the extra mile to ensure their survival. Congratulations for a job well done.
Je parle Francaise un petite peu.( EXCUSE my spelling) and sentance structure. Long time since I learned Parisian french.
Luc DeRoche 08/08/04 08:18 pm Still no luck with self feeding. I've got a few other things to try out tomorrow to get them going. On a rehabber's discussion forum, they mentionned that Ospreys can take anywhere from 7 to 10 days before they self feed. It's a good thing, I'm on vacation...

PS: Vous écrivez très bien Marie. (You write very well...)
Tiger 08/08/04 08:26 pm You might like to read:

http://www.ospreys.org.uk/AWOP/Transloc%20pre-release.htm

They were in a similar situaion to you.

Marie 08/08/04 10:19 pm Oh Tiger...you always have all the best osprey sites tucked up your sleeve... do you have long arms???
What a great librarian you make... ;-)
Tiger 08/09/04 03:04 am A long memory rather than a long arm!

Thank you.

Luc DeRoche 08/09/04 09:11 pm Hey people,

You probably won't believe me now, but a third bird showed up today. A different location, a downed Osprey was picked by some fishery officers. My vacation is beginning to get a little on the "busy" side. Ah, what the heck, I like the work anyway...
Marie 08/09/04 09:19 pm Hey! osprey -man....what a special bird for you...it is the season for OSPREYS afterall... ;-))Good luck with all that day time feeding. Thank goodness they sleep at night and don't expect fish every three hours throughout the night! Or do they when they are in a holiday-home like they are right now???

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004