Wild Care Reunites Sesuit Harbor Osprey Chicks - with Community Support

Nest platform had collapsed with two chicks on board...
Jayne Fowler, Wildcare's wildlife rehab assistant, places first juvenile in new nest. (Carl R Jacobs photo)

Eastham, MA - Wild Care, a wildlife rehabilitation center located in Eastham, is once again aided by the support of the community coming together to help save two Osprey chicks, and reunite them with their parents.

On Saturday morning, June 29th, Wild Care’s Helpline was flooded with phone calls about an Osprey nest platform that collapsed at Sesuit Harbor East, in Dennis, MA. It was reported that the two chicks were on the ground, and the adult Osprey were frantically circling.

Wild Care’s Wildlife Rehab Assistant, Jayne Fowler, immediately arrived at the scene and retrieved the two chicks and brought them to Wild Care, where they were examined thoroughly by Wild Care’s staff. Despite falling approximately 35 feet from their nest, the chicks were uninjured. Wild Care received permission from MassWildlife State Ornithologist, Andrew Vitz, to place them back into the nest when possible.

The challenge however, was that there was barely a nest or platform remaining to place them back into. Furthermore, being a pre-holiday weekend, it was difficult to mobilize help. Wild Care needed assistance, including; materials, labor, machines and someone with the know-how to safely construct a solid nesting platform. In came Carl Jacobs to the rescue. Carl is a Brewster resident, and a retired Firefighter and Paramedic from the Dennis Fire Department. He has been visiting this particular Osprey nest site for many years.

Carl was quickly able to secure a 65' personnel lift-machine, donated by Robert Child’s Inc (South Dennis). Carl also received donations of cedar lumber for the nest platform, from Stonewood Products (Harwich), and donations of metal for the platform braces, from Baskin's Ace Hardware (South Dennis). The Dennis Fire Department offered Carl a ladder truck and backup support, and the Dennis Harbormaster Department offered support and tools as needed. It takes a village!!!

Carl, along with fellow Firefighter and Paramedic, Brad Cross of Yarmouth, utilized the lift and spent hours rebuilding the nest platform on July 10th. Upon completion of the platform, Wild Care Intern, Kat Munsell delivered the chicks to the Sesuit Harbor East location at 3 PM. Jayne then placed the chicks into the nest. With many eyes watching, and hoping for the best, onlookers watched as the Osprey parents circled around the nest, but did not land. “At one point, the adult female Osprey flew towards the nest with a very large stick,” states Stephanie Ellis, Wild Care’s Executive Director. “We all got so excited that she would finally land in the nest.  Much to our disappointment, she dropped the stick in the nest, and then flew off!” However, patience is a virtue, and the Osprey parents finally landed in the nest at 5:15 PM, and proceeded to bring fish to the nest for the chicks. The birds were checked on the morning of July 11th by Jayne and Carl, who reported the parents are caring for the chicks, and their new digs seem to be working out just fine.

“This story is incredibly heartwarming, states Ellis, “and is a testament to the great work that we do at Wild Care, and the type of positive outcome that is possible when a community of people come together. We could not have done this without the quick work of Carl Jacobs and Brad Cross. I am also grateful to my incredible staff, who provided excellent care to these chicks for ten days at our facility in Eastham. Thank you Carl and Brad, Robert Child’s Inc., Stonewood Products, Dennis Fire Department, and Dennis HarborMaster, for assisting us in reuniting this Osprey family. Success!”

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