Joe Rocco, a rescue volunteer for the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center, went to Greenport in search of an osprey following a call that one had been hit by a Long Island Rail Road train on April 16. Luckily, Rocco was able to find the bird hopping around in a field.
Ten of the osprey’s flight feathers had been damaged, and she was taken to the center in Hampton Bays for care. On May 5, she was then taken to The Raptor Trust in New Jersey, where a procedure called imping was performed.
During the procedure, feathers from a deceased osprey were attached with a lightweight epoxy by a needle. The feathers are expected to stay on for a while, but they can also easily molt.
If the procedure hadn’t been performed, the osprey would need to wait until next February or March, and she wouldn’t make this year’s migration.
According to the center, ospreys do not do well in captivity, tending not to eat. This osprey has been eating and doing well enough to be returned home. On Thursday, May 14, Rocco released her in Greenport.