|The Rugged and Handsome Pomarine Jaeger -- Breach Inlet, Sullivan's Island, SC -- July 11, 2014|
Yesterday, I learned of the sad fate of the handsome and rugged Pomarine Jaeger first found and identified at Breach Inlet by Craig Watson. To learn more about this bird's arrival and his transfer to the Avian Conservation Center - Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC, please check out 2 previous posts on him here and here.
The Avian Conservation Center sent an e-mail to Craig this morning to inform him of the bird's demise from a sudden and acute upper respiratory infection -- likely aspergillosis, an ailment that often strikes captive pelagic species. He had been receiving a preventative medication against this illness but had succumbed nonetheless. Previously, the clinic had been cautiously optimistic on the possibility of his release back into the wild once he had completed a molt into new feathers. Unfortunately, this was not to be and he passed yesterday morning.
I will always treasure the memory of this bird's alert and bold personality in his interactions with birders, tourists and fishermen on the beach at the inlet. And I am sad that he did not live to sail out over the ocean again -- Free on the wing.
The good that came of this bird's stay at the Center comes in the form of increased medical knowledge for the staff in terms of how to treat future pelagic patients. Kudos to the Center for all that they did in their attempts to save this bird!