Nel, the orphaned osprey that was rescued from a webcam-equipped nest near Nelson earlier this year is preparing to join the annual migration of her kind, and was recently equipped with a tracking band courtesy of O.W.L. Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.
“We banded 35 birds yesterday in preparation for their release, including the young Osprey, a second year Red Tailed Hawk with transitioning eye color, a young Goshawk that is being released today in Castlegar, The last batch of young eagles and a Harrier!” wrote O.W.L. in a September 6 Facebook post.
As previously reported in the Star, Nel recently took her first flight around the 180-foot enclosure, which also features a trout-stocked pool. To see a video, click here. She has bonded to an older female osprey who is acting as her foster mother.
Nel continues to receive an outpouring of community support.
“I still get teary-eyed when I remember her story and awesome rescue,” wrote Joanne Jardee. “I will be sending a donation to O.W.L. today.”
Many have grown attached to the embattled osprey ever since her tragic beginnings earlier this year, but the updates from O.W.L. have given those concerned reason to cheer.
“Looking at this picture, it is hard to remember little Nel all alone, afraid and hungry in the nest. Beautiful Nel. So grateful,” wrote Donna Burske.
Others had words of wisdom to share with Nel before she’s released back to the wild.
“Love and luck Nel! Stay away from Eagles, don’t pick at your tag, keep your beak clean, watch for those great thermal updrafts and get plenty of sleep!” wrote Kathy Musso.
According to O.W.L., no date has yet been set for Nel’s release into the wild.
June 12, 13 and 15 -Osprey chicks born
June 20 – A power outage is reported in Grohman Creek. The osprey cam loses service.
June 21 – Online fans speculate about the disappearance of Nelson, the osprey father.
June 23 – Nelson Hydro employees discuss options to help the mother and chicks.
June 24 – Nelson Hydro begins delivering fish to the osprey nest. The first chick dies.
June 25 – Employee discovers Nelson’s corpse under a power line during a ground inspection.
June 26 – Nelson Hydro commits to feed the osprey chicks until they’re fully grown.
July 3 – Second chick dies. Mother osprey stops feeding Nel.
July 4 – Nel is removed from the nest and transported to O.W.L Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta.
July 31 – Nel is moved to an outside enclosure with a foster mother.
August 11 – Nel pounces on her first live trout.
August 24 – Nel is relocated to an outside enclosure with a trout-stocked pool.
August 25 – Nel takes flight for the first time.
September 6 – Nel receives a tracking bad from O.W.L Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.