Firefighter rescues fallen osprey chick
LEE COUNTY -
An off duty firefighter rescued a baby bird in big trouble. The South Trail firefighter spotted a baby osprey lying on the ground right near busy US-41 and Alico Road in Lee County Wednesday morning.
Perched up on a pole, another osprey sat all alone. That's because 100 feet below, firefighter Mike McCarty spotted its sibling on the road.
It had fallen out of the nest. "There were two kids, one was poking it with a stick when I pulled up," said Mike McCarty.
Instead of looking away, McCarty's firefighter instincts drew him in. He called FWC and rescued the bird.
"The mother was above me and was dive bombing the whole time and that was a little intimidating," said McCarty.
McCarty brought it to the South Trail Fire Station where he met an FWC officer, and that officer took it to CROW on Sanibel to see if it was hurt or sick.
"When a baby falls out of a nest like that, I think it's always a good idea for somebody to just check and make sure nothing is broken or damaged," said Heather Barron, the Hospital Director for Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, or CROW.
While it is natural for parents to leave their babies alone sometimes, Barron says it's always good to call the clinic to make sure nothing is wrong.
It is unclear how the baby bird fell out; but Barron says there are several possibilities.
"Sometimes they're not quite ready to fly yet, and they try it and they're just not ready," said Barron.
Or she says sometimes the siblings nudge their brothers and sisters out. Even low flying planes can scare the birds.
Despite the big fall, this baby bird is just fine and ready to go home.
"There's no doubt his healthy, he's in good body condition so his parents have definitely fed him recently and it's just a matter of getting him back home where he belongs," said Barron.