Wildlife Rehab Center works with city
By Holly Neumann
The Feather Wildlife Rehabilitation Center with the help of the city of Manawa recently banded nesting ospreys at Lindsay Park.
“I started this rehab in 1987 and banding was also done at that time,” said Pat Fisher, who operates the center near New London. “We got into ospreys when they were taken off the endangered list in Wisconsin and I have been banding them since 2005.”
Data including the birds’ health, weight, condition of feathers and any injuries are collected.
The only tracking done after banding is complete comes from reports from citizens that see them in the wild.
Nicholas Weed, who works for the city of Manawa, was one of the climbers that retrieved the birds from the nest.
“Pat contacted me a few years ago asking me if I would climb and I have done it ever since,” he said.
He recently climbed 85 feet to the top of the nest collected two chicks.
“This year was a little tricky due to them being a bit bigger than years prior,” Weed said.
Weed’s wife, Mickayla, and 11-month-old son Daniel were also able to participate in the experience, along with Josh Smith and Adam and Marissa Brandt and their children.
“We are hoping to turn this into a family tradition for years to come,” Weed said.
Ospreys use their hooked talons to catch fish, which make up the majority of their diet and do not have many predators.
Fishing line, however, can injure the birds, according to Fisher.
“The main thing for folks to do is clean up their fishing equipment,” she said. “It ends up on too many species of wild things. One person can make a difference.”