First flight

Onslow osprey spreads its wings

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

A fledg­ling osprey has taken its first flight just days af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a 30m fall out of its nest in Onslow.

The young bird was spot­ted on the street be­low the Tel­stra tower in Onslow, near the top of which two ospreys have been nest­ing for the past few years.

Pil­bara Wildlife Car­ers vol­un­teer Marie-Pierre Duf­fault said re­mark­ably, the bird suf­fered no in­juries from the fall but re­quired care while a plan was hatched to get it back home.

“We had to feed it by hand three times a day for five days, and in the mean­time, my part­ner Ge­off (Her­bert) worked his magic and con­tacted some­how Tel­stra, who of­fered to send a team of climbers from Perth,” she said. “Five days later they came with a rope bag which turned out to be a bril­liant idea as it had enough room for the Osprey to ac­tu­ally stand in it.”

Ms Duf­fault said there was a ner­vous wait overnight af­ter Tel­stra’s climbers re­united the bird with its par­ents.

“It started to get a bit ex­cited be­cause he could see he was back home — he was flap­ping his wings so we were hop­ing it wouldn’t be silly and fall out again,” she said.

“The par­ents came back prob­a­bly an hour later and recog­nised him but didn’t give him much at­ten­tion orig­i­nally.

“The morn­ing af­ter we had a good look and the baby was in the nest with mum stuff­ing their face with fish.”

Ear­lier this year Hori­zon Power de­layed pulling an old power pole down in Kar­ratha be­cause a mud­lark fam­ily had made a nest on it.

Pic­ture: Mike Ed­mond­son

The ju­ve­nile osprey set­tles in at home.

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