Rescued! Osprey, April 18, 2016

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On Monday, April 18, the staff of the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge made a collaborative effort to rescue a juvenile osprey (Pandion haliaetus) that had become entangled in fishing line. We’re not sure how the fishing line made it’s way to the osprey’s nest, but when it was time to fledge (when young birds learn to fly) one of the young ospreys become tangled in monofilament and other unnatural debris that was attached to the nest. This created a scenario in which the fledgling was stuck, dangling above the mangrove upside down for some time. Without human intervention, this bird would not have been able to free itself and wouldn’t have survived.

Fishing line and hooks that are not disposed of properly don’t negatively impact marine life exclusively. This isn’t the first time that our team has written an article focusing on a juvenile osprey becoming entangled in fishing line (click here to read a similar article from last May). While we were able to save the osprey in this instance, it’s still paramount that we all work to stop the problem at it’s source. Fishing hooks and lines, and human litter in general, negatively affects all wildlife. Please dispose of your used fishing lines and hooks properly in designated receptacles. This is such a small step to take, but it will help us to create a much healthier planet for all walks of life, including our feathered friends.

For more information about the proper disposal of monofilament fish line, please visit the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program’s website.

Thanks to Matthew Violette for the photos of the rescue, and to everyone else that helps us to Keep Them Flying.

Ian Martin, Education Coordinator, 2016

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