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Hello Osprey Watchers!

We believe the fledgling osprey with the sometimes drooping wing is Sky- the oldest of the three chicks who is probably a female as suggested by her larger size and streaked breast.  

At the moment, the experts’ consensus is that the cause of the wing droop is likely muscle strain.  When perched, she has the ability to hold the wings in a normal position, although sometimes extends one of the wings.

It was very good news yesterday evening when she took a short flight and returned to the nest. This short flight rules out fractured bones or dislocated joints.  With a more severe injury, we would also expect to see a “depressed” attitude (e.g. crouching in the nest cup). We are pleased also that Sky’s  appetite is strong (she continues to eat food delivered by parents) and she remains  very alert. Her use of the extended perch is further evidence of her health and interest in the environment and she is doing a lot of normal begging for food from her parents.

This morning we observed her take another flight and later in the day, she was back in the nest.

So, at this point, we are optimistic that the muscle strain will resolve itself. We have been advised by the consulting rehabilitators that flight is usually not compromised by this condition and that bringing a bird such as this into captivity poses greater risk than warranted under these circumstances.

We thank the staff of Avian Haven (Freedom, Maine) and  Audubon’s Birds of Prey Center (Maitland, Florida) for their guidance.