Wildlife managers released a osprey back into the wild at North Pond near Silverthorne Wednesday after the bird had been rehabilitating in Broomfield for four weeks.
The young osprey was found on the ground near a nest at North Pond with blood on its wing, said Sean Shepherd, wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The chick was taken to the Silverthorne Police Department where it was then picked up by wildlife managers and taken to the Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Broomfield.
Staff attending to the osprey found no injuries on it and the source of the blood is unknown, and likely from another animal, Shepherd said.
"The fledgling fell out of its nest before it was able to fly so it needed to be rehabilitated," Shepherd said.
The Birds of Prey center is home to large flight cages where recovered birds can build strength and learn how to fly.
"During the rehabilitation, the osprey was fed while it built up the strength and learned to fly," Shepherd said. "They fattened him up and now he is ready to be released back into its natural habitat."
Wildlife managers and rehabilitation staff released the young osprey at North Pond where it was found as the other osprey in the area are preparing to migrate to coastal areas.
"We've been watching very closely the last couple of days to see when these birds are preparing to migrate - it could happen at any time," Shepherd said. "The osprey is healthy and it's flying. It has as much as chance as any young bird of prey of rejoining its flock and migrating safely."
Osprey are migratory birds that winter primarily in the Caribbean. The large birds can range from 21-26 inches in length with wingspans varying from 59-67 inches. With a white head, darkly speckled crown and a conspicuous wide, dark eye-line, they are easily recognizable as they perch on trees near water.