Thanks to Dr. Guy Fitzgerald, veterinarian at the University of Montreal, we have a coda of sorts on the discovery of Oswego late last month beneath high-tension electrical lines a few kilometers from the Montreal airport.
Dr. Fitzgerald examined Oswego’s remains, although he noted that by the time she was recovered, there was little remaining but bones and feathers.
“[Her] metal band was in good shape, and I couldn’t detect any burnt tissues (feathers or feet) caused by electrocution. No fracture on any long bones, but a fracture of the lower right jaw bone,” Dr. Fitzgerald reported. “Tough to say if that happened before or after death. I can’t actually conclude anything precisely on this bird. One supposition (speculative) would be that the bird might have collided with the wires (causing jaw fracture and likely a head trauma) and could have died there.”
We appreciate Dr. Fitzgerald’s help on this, and his previous assistance with a similar situation involving Oswegatchie several years ago. One of the realities of working with wild animals is that sometimes you lose a study subject, and never really know why, but at least we’ve been able to eliminate our first guess, electrocution, as a cause.