Ossie the Ospray
This wonderful osprey, also known as a fish hawk, was shot by a hunter and blinded in both eyes. A game warden heard the shot and caught the hunter with the severely wounded osprey in his possession.
Trust for Wildlife took the hunter to court but the judge didn’t agree with the severity of the crime so a $25 fine was all the penalty dealt out. However, a class of high school students had been given permission to view the hearing. When the judge asked for any questions, the students questioned the judgement and asked many questions about current laws to protect birds of prey and the justice system.
Newspaper reporters were present and, as a result of the student input, a front page article told the story. Fish and Wildlife personnel got involved and the next year the hunting and fishing manual for the State of Connecticut included a special section on birds of prey with silhouettes of many species.
“Ossie” lived for several years after, blind but communicating through his wonderful calls and sharing space with a number of owls and song birds that had been injured or orphaned.
Because of this spunky bird and the publicity and education programs that resulted, thousands of other birds of prey fly free today-unmolested with special protection.