Sunday, October 29, 2017

Young Osprey's Dangerous Encounter, Part 2

Now for the rest of the "Young Osprey's Dangerous Encounter".

The end of Part 1 showed the adult Osprey attacking the young Osprey. Here is what followed.

The adult is now using her beak biting at his neck and digging her talons into the young Osprey's back.

The youngster has a burst of energy or a huge desire to stay alive and bolts forward.

But her deadly talons snag his movement and he stalls in place. 

Instantly she is on top and the vicious attack resumes.

She has the youngster pinned to the ground and is using her powerful wings to stay balanced on top as she continues her attack.
The youngster has become inactive and just lies there as the adult is ready to inflict more damage with her talons. 

Stomping on his back , her crown feathers are up showing her displeasure at this aggressor in her territory. 

He is now lying still and she disengages her talons from his back and steps away.

She flies to a nearby post. I am feeling hopeful that this signals the end of the battle.

The adult is looking well and powerful. Her flying ability is fine and she seems to have no battle wounds. Just muddy feet from fighting on the ground.

She turns to take a good look at her challenger still lying on the ground.

Oh my goodness! She flies off the post and attacks the juvenile again!

She is relentless and keeps up the attack for quite awhile.

Her wings tell the story of what is happening in the pickleweeds.

She appears to grow more and more agitated.

Her wings flap for balance and for added punishment of the youngster beneath her talons.

He tries again to escape her and wiggles away.

He lunges forward and she is immediately in pursuit. 
She pounces on him and spreads her wings in the classic raptor mantle. Her head is raised, the crown feathers straight up, and the wings over her prey.

He is held down again and again.

The attacks continue.

She shows her agitation with raised head and crown feathers.

We have seen photos of shark's eyes just before they attack. This photo is taken the moment before the adult decides to attack with her powerful beak.

Attacking and ripping with her beak!

Her powerful wings assist her in her full flurry attack.
She is relentless and bites at her target. 

I move a few feet south to see if I can see the youngster but she is blocking the view. 

As I move to get a better view, she has decided to leave him and jumps to the dense pickleweeds. Now I can see him in the background. He is face down and barely moving a wing.
The youngster in the background is trying to get up and she appears to be ready to leave.

But no, she sees him move and goes back for another attack with her beak wide open! He should have stayed quiet until she left.

The attack is violent.

She is agitated and continues to show her anger with raised crown feathers.

Relentless pounding with her talons all the while her wings pump for balance and extra power for her attack. 

He struggles to get away and the adult's fury intensifies. 

She has him locked under her talons.

The youngster uses his wings to try and bat her off his back but her talons are locked on and she doubles down.

All the youngster can do is flap his wings but she isn't letting him go.

The youngster is lying on his side with his head at the bottom of this photo. The adult is still attacking his back holding on to him with her talons.

Relentless attacking.

It appears that the youngster has stopped struggling.

A very sad scene.He is lying there and appears more like a heap of feathers.

The adult holds her position for quite awhile, appearing to relax and waiting for the young Osprey to stop moving. 

For a moment, It appeared that she was going to take flight and try to carry him off.
Flapping her wings, the adult most likely is unlocking and pulling her talons out of the youngster's back. The youngster's wings flap like a limp dish rag.

She is now on the pickleweed leaving the youngster lying in the mud. 
She pumps her powerful wing and gets air. You can see a lump of brown feathers below her. That is the youngster lying in the mud.

She lands on the pickleweed and almost looks as though she is using the weed to brush mud off her feet. 

Up she flies. Now the youngster is visible lying in the mud below. 

As the adult flies off, the youngster stirs. I can see him trying to get up.

As she lands near the post, you can see the youngster has managed to get up. Wow, I didn't think he could have survived that punishing attack.

He raises his wings making himself look as big as possible. It almost appears as if he is challenging her again! The adult looks as though she knows he is all show and has no fight left in him. She barely gives him a sideways glance and flies off.

The youngster is in very bad shape. His wings flop around as though there is no muscle attached to direct them for flight.

He tries and tries to lift off but stays stuck in the mud. 
A good look at the damage. Look at all the talon holes in his side. His wings flop around as though they were disjointed or even worse, one of them possibly broken or badly strained.

The youngster moves into the pickleweeds to get away from the thick lagoon mud. He keeps trying to fly but his wings refuse to respond for flight. 

I watched for several minutes realizing this youngster is in big trouble. He cannot fly. I had to try and help. I walked to the Nature Center and the rangers' desk to ask for help. I was told that the rangers were out and would not be back for an hour or so. I explained the situation and said I would wait for them to show them where the young Osprey was located and that I would be waiting at the bridge.

As I waited the young Osprey continues to try to fly. He tries over and over again but falls forward on his face.

Constantly falling forward he gives up and stays in one place. 
Looking north, I see the adult at her favorite pole grooming herself. I get a phone call from the nature center and it's good news! The rangers have heard my plea and they are on their way right now! They should be arriving any moment. My spirit is lifted with the hope of a good outcome for this young adventurous Osprey. 

The rangers have arrived and I point to the spot in the pickleweeds where the young Osprey is located. As I am explaining what happened to the young Osprey, a raptor heads straight overhead flying in from the center of the lagoon. Wow, it is carrying something!  I quickly turn and follow him flying east. Trying desperately to find him in the viewfinder of my camera and focus at the same time. There he is!  It's a Cooper's Hawk!

Wow, and he has got himself a large prey. It is a full grown Ridgway's Rail! 

One last shot of the Cooper's Hawk with prey before it disappears into the thick willows. 

The rangers have launched the canoe to reach the center of the lagoon and have a medium sized dog cage to transport the Osprey. 

Three rangers working their way to the young Osprey.

They have located and surrounded the youngster. He barely lifts his wing to move and soon quiets and sits still. There is no fight left in the young raptor.

The youngster stands still and one of the rangers covers him with a towel and carries him gently into the travel crate. 
I talked to this ranger when he arrived back with the Osprey and he said the Osprey was just sitting there and did not struggle as he picked him up for transport. What a great rescue by these wonderful caring rangers. They have called Sea World and alerted them to the situation of the Osprey. They are taking him immediately to Sea World's Wildlife Rehab center.

Carrying the young Osprey carefully and with much compassion for the well-being of this youngster. 

My last look of the young Osprey as he is about to be put in the back seat of the ranger's truck. He will  be taken to Sea World for urgent care and rehab. The rangers will let me know what happens to this youngster. They will stay in touch and let us all know. If he survives, there will be a file number that everyone can follow and check on him. A warm "Thank you" to these super good guys for their quick response. I am ready to head for home and will be keeping my fingers crossed that this youngster will get great care and he will fight to survive his dangerous encounter. I will post an update as soon as I hear form the rangers. UPDATE:  I have been told by the nature center that the rangers ended up taking the young Osprey to  Project Wildlife. Case# 1712529.

Here is the update as of 11-2-17 , the Rangers have informed me that the Osprey had gained enough strength to be released. They took him to "Rios trail" and released him there. I'm afraid that that is still too close to the adult females territory but we will see what happens.  We wish him luck and to stay safe.

Have a safe and peaceful weekend everyone!