Injured osprey hitchhikes from Massachusetts to Florida

Posted at 8:26 AM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 08:56:25-05

An injured osprey unable to fly south for the winter is hitching a ride home this year.

The osprey was seriously injured in August after his nest hit power lines and caught on fire. Rescuers found him covered in soot with respiratory issues caused by smoke inhalation. His months-long treatment included oxygen therapy, medications and other lifesaving procedures.

By the time the recovering raptor would have been healthy enough to be freed in Massachusetts, it would have been too late for him to safely migrate as his fellow osprey had already left.

A volunteer drove the bird to the South Florida Wildlife Center earlier this month where it will complete his recovery in their aviary before being released in the New Year.