Utility crew helps free osprey caught in fishing line and tethered to light pole in Ocean Beach
The line, caught on the bird’s nest and wrapped around her left leg and one of her claws at Robb Field, left her unable to feed her nestlings.
An osprey found tethered to a fishing line in her nest atop a 40-foot pole in Ocean Beach — leaving her unable to provide food for her nestlings — was freed by a utility crew with a bucket truck, according to the San Diego Humane Society.
The organization said a good Samaritan reported seeing the bird March 19 with fishing line wrapped around her left leg and one of her claws.
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The fishing line was caught on the bird’s nest on a light pole near a baseball diamond at Robb Field, Nina Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society, said this week.
The osprey made several failed attempts to free herself from the nest at the park, near Bacon Street and West Point Loma Boulevard.
Because the osprey was unable to leave her nest, a second osprey helped with the parenting, overseeing the nest and bringing food to the nestlings, Thompson said.
San Diego Humane Society officials reached out to San Diego Gas & Electric on March 20, which sent a crew with a bucket truck to help rescue the large bird, Thompson said.
Ospreys have a wingspan of nearly 5 feet and, when perched, stand about 2 feet tall, according to the San Diego Natural History Museum.
The utility workers “were wearing big, raptor-type gloves,” Thompson said. “And then the minute they got hold of her they had a towel bag that they were able to wrap her in.”
Dr. Jon Enyart, senior director of San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife, directed the crew members as they cut the osprey free and brought her down. Enyart examined the bird, cut the lines off her foot and hydrated her, Thompson said.
“Thankfully, the osprey had only suffered some minor scrapes and swelling from being caught in the fishing line and was released within minutes, minimizing the stress of human interaction,” Thompson said. “The osprey flew a lap around the baseball diamond, then promptly returned to her nestlings.”
The partner osprey immediately joined the nest, Thompson said.