Three Osprey Chicks Displaced by Fire are Reunited with Parents

Wild Care, COMM Fire Dept, Eversource, police, natural resources all pitch in...
Three Osprey chicks ready to be re-nested. See full photo gallery in story. (WCCC photo)

From Wild Care Cape Cod...

Three Osprey chicks were re-nested in Osterville, Monday afternoon July 30th, to a new nest atop an Eversource utility pole at the end of Cockachoisett Lane. Their nest at the intersection of West Bay Road and Bridge Street was damaged by a pole fire Wednesday morning, July 25th.

Centerville, Osterville, Marston Mills Fire Department (COMM) contacted Wild Care for assistance with three displaced Osprey chicks resulting from their nest catching fire at the top of the pole on July 25th.

The chicks were recovered by Amy Webster, Wildlife Rehabilitator and Special Rescue Coordinator at Wild Care. One Osprey lost a talon (toe-nail), the others suffered from singed tail feathers. The birds were given a thorough exam, and then hydrated, fed, and placed into an oxygen chamber at Wild Care to prevent complications from smoke inhalation.  All three birds were found to be in excellent health and ready for a renesting attempt.

A community project quickly ensued to reunite the chicks with their Osprey parents that were seen hanging around the original nest area.  Barnstable Animal Control Officers (ACO), Charlie Lewis and Cindy Sherman of the Barnstable Police Department, along with Natural Resource Officers (NRO) Amy Croteau, Devon Harrington, and Chris Nappi arranged the details of the renest with Eversource. The plan was finalized to rebuild the nest near the Ospreys previous “home”.  Eversource crew Jeff Roy, Brian Zapolski, Kevin McLaughlin and Rich Frazel created an osprey nest atop a utility pole at the end of Cockachoisett Lane in Osterville. The nest consisted of a wooden pallet platform attached to the utility pole on a new temporary platform. The pallet was bolted on. The nest was then filled with sticks and reeds.

Fish were left in the nest in case the parents did not return immediately. Finally, the three young Osprey chicks were placed into the nest.  Within minutes, 2 adult Osprey were flying around showing interest in the young, despite 5 days of separation.

“Wild Care has received confirmation from multiple sources that the young Osprey are being tended to by their parents”, states Stephanie Ellis, Wild Care’s Executive Director, “We are beyond grateful for the help and support we received from the community, enabling us to make this happen. Placing these incredible birds back into a nest, a species that was once near the brink of local extinction due to DDT pesticides, is so very heartwarming, and is important to their population here on Cape Cod. We are grateful to Eversource, the Barnstable Police Department and Barnstable Natural Resources for their galiant efforts getting these chicks back with their parents. I am also grateful to Amy Webster, Wild Care’s WIldlife Rehabilitator and Special Rescue Coordinator, for coordinating all of these rescue efforts, and also to all of our animal care staff. It is a tremendous amount of work to care for these birds in captivity. They are often highly stressed, and it is critically important to not only meet their nutritional needs, but to avoid any imprinting on humans. My staff did an incredible job rehabilitating these birds. Thanks to this team effort, the chicks are back with their parents where they belong.”

Enjoy the photo gallery below - All photos by Cristalyn Searles


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