In August 2012, a juvenile osprey was transferred to us from another rehabilitation center after she had been rescued from the Barry Point fire in Lakeview, Oregon. This traumatized raptor came to us with burns on all her primary, secondary feathers and tail feathers. Fortunately, she sustained no soft tissue damage. However, since her feathers were damaged, we had to wait for her to molt. This meant we had to keep her through the winter even though osprey are typically a migratory species. She naturally earned the nickname “Singe” due to her state upon arrival.
Osprey are notorious for refusing food in captivity and often have to be hand/force fed. We spent extensive time successfully training Singe to eat in captivity, much to our excitement. After the first year in rehab many of her new feathers were breaking making her unable to fly. She was over wintered for a second year as she would have not survived in the wild due to her feather growth difficulties. In addition to giving her time for her feather quality to improve, we also performed extensive physical therapy and strength building exercises to increase her flight ability and endurance.
Unfortunately, despite all of our efforts, Singe still cannot fly. Sadly, she showed no improvement or indication of being able to regain that ability so she is non releasable. Rehab animals are deemed non releasable if their injuries prevent them from surviving in the wild. For these patients like Singe, we do the best we can to find them a permanent home at a qualified facility if they have a disposition to be happy in captivity. It’s a lot of hard work finding placement.
After several months of writing hundreds of emails and calling various facilities, we are so pleased to announce her “happy ending.” Pictured are Animal Care Technicians Laura Milnes and Kendra Romero with Heila Hubbard of “Hawks, Honkers, and Hoots” and of course Singe. She is now going to live at Hawks, Honkers and Hoots as a permanent resident! The town Singe is going to live in is called Rescue, California…can you believe it? What a perfect name. This story has been years in the making and we’re so happy Singe will live out her days at such a wonderful facility where she will go to work as an ambassador for her species! Good-bye Singe! Go forth and prosper.