Banded Dead Bird of Prey

Photo provided by Dick Wildermann

Nature is amazing, beautiful and awe-inspiring. It’s also harsh and sad at times. This is one of those times.

On Sunday, March 26th, Dick Wildermann contacted Seabrook Island Birders to let us know about a dead Osprey. This is what he observed:

We saw him alive last evening about 6:30 from our sunroom.  He/she was just standing on the ground on the far side of the lagoon behind our house.  He was still standing there when it got dark.  This morning when we looked out, our beautiful friend was dead; hadn’t moved an inch.  Perhaps he knew it was time and decided this pretty spot next to a lagoon is a good place to let go.  Those folks across the way with the bird feeders, they’ll take care of me tomorrow.

We first called the phone number on the band, which turned out to be the Bird Banding Lab run by the U.S. Geological Survey.  Their recording said to go on their website to report that we found a bird with a band.  We got an immediate response saying the beautiful Osprey had “hatched in 2009” and was banded July 11, 2009 “near Awendaw, SC.”  (That was a big band for what must have been a little bird at the time.)

We called the Birds of Prey Center and they wanted the bird in order to do a necropsy.  Marg took the Osprey to the home of a couple (Sean and Valerie) on James Island who work at the Center.

I’ve been thinking about that Osprey.  Almost 14 years old.  Spending his last hours standing on the ground, close to the lagoon and golf green.  We saw no signs of injuries.  Perhaps we’ll learn more tomorrow.


The Center for Birds of Prey did a necropsy on the Osprey.  They did not find a definitive cause of death.  Valerie said the bird was “a little thin” (2.5 on a scale of 4) but she said that was not unusual for Ospreys.  There were some parasites in the lining of the stomach but nothing that would have killed him.  Toxicology reports are pending. He was a male and was “getting ready to breed.”  There were no signs of injury.  Our Osprey’s last meal was a bass.

Submitted by Dick Wildermann

Click here to report a banded bird.

Author: sibirders

SEABROOK ISLAND BIRDERS / “watching, learning, protecting” Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC who have an interest in learning, protecting and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

2 thoughts on “Banded Dead Bird of Prey”

  1. Your report is amazing. It is appropriate in the complex and beautiful world we live in on Seabrook to acknowledge in such detail his passing. It is a good soul who does that. Every part of this preserve deserves our attention.


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