Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

‘An anomaly’: Osprey dies after being rescued from tangled twine in Summit County

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Aug. 13, 2019 at 8:07 p.m.

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PEOA, Summit County — State wildlife officials say an osprey died at a Utah rehabilitation facility not long after it had been rescued from twine below a nest near Rockport Reservoir Tuesday morning.

About 8:30 a.m., Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials received a report from a passerby that an osprey had gotten tangled in baling twine and was dangling upside down below a nesting platform near the reservoir, said Mark Hadley, DWR’s northern region outreach manager. The agency, along with crews from the North Summit Fire Department and Summit County Animal Control responded to try and rescue the bird.

Crews used a ladder to reach the bird, and a conservation officer was able to use a net and gloves to catch the injured osprey once it was freed from the twine. The bird was taken to a rehabilitation facility in Mapleton, where it died shortly thereafter due to stress from the incident, Hadley said.

“In most cases, they’re able to nurse these birds back to health. It just depends on what kind of accident or situation the bird was in before it was taken to the rehabilitation center,” Hadley said. “Most birds that are taken to rehabbers are able to recover, but you have just some situations where the bird is just so injured or so stressed out before it makes it to a rehabber, that there isn’t that much of a chance.”

Ospreys, which are also known as seahawks or fish hawks, aren’t totally uncommon in Utah. Hadley explained the birds like to nest on cliffs or places above the ground. They can often be found at Flaming Gorge Reservoir during the summer, but they’re a familiar guest in the Rockport Reservoir area, too.

Wildlife officials set up nesting platforms on telephone poles near the reservoir that the ospreys seem to enjoy to use. Hadley said the osprey found tangled in twine Tuesday morning was a younger bird that was likely raised in the nest that was above where it was found.

He also said the whole ordeal was unusual and “an anomaly” — something he said he hadn’t seen before while working with the division.

While it wasn’t the ending wildlife officials had hoped for, they said they were appreciative of the tipster who alerted authorities to the bird.

“We just ask people to keep their eyes open, and if they see an animal they feel like is in distress let us know,” Hadley said. “It’s fine to contact law enforcement dispatch centers because our officers, just like all law enforcement officers in the state, we’re all tied in together with those means of communication. … At least that bird had somewhat of a chance. If it had not been reported to us, we couldn’t respond (unless) we happened to drive by that area. That bird might have very well been dead before we would have had a chance to help it.”


Carter Williams

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