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    Saturday, October 01, 2022

    Your Turn: Saving an osprey

    Three Old Saybrook kids helped save this osprey.

    Sunday, July 24 was a steamy triple H summer day at 95-plus temps (Triple H=hazy/hot/humid).

    Three Summerwood teen pals: Lucy, Scott and Kory were on their way back from pool swims for lunch. On the way they noted an osprey on a Hidden Cove electrical pole, nearest the tennis courts.

    It was a beautiful natural sight enjoyed by the three teens! Kory named it "Oscar the Osprey." They then headed home, together with family company visiting for the day at Summerwood. And to cool in some AC.

    Three Old Saybrook kids helped save this osprey.

    Later that night after dinner and before dusk, together the three headed out on a bike ride. They headed to the beach first, then to play basketball, pickleball or tennis - until darkness. On the way back at dark it was noticed this osprey was still there, in the same spot atop that pole. It stood still, wasn’t moving about like before - that was 6-plus hours later after blazing heat/sun. The teens sensed a bigger issue, so went right into action with both sets of parents at home. That osprey was in need of some help. Every angle was attempted; calls to Animal Control, Audubon, all other ideas - late Sunday night. No luck, no live answer on numerous calls and attempts. Only voicemail and websites not responding. Time was ticking over seven hours now, with the osprey still there. Finally a call was placed to Old Saybrook Police dispatcher, telling them no human emergency. However, per the teens, any osprey assistance opportunity was needed and vital.

    Dispatch was stumped but promised to ask around, check further and call us back either way. In 15 minutes a call, two numbers and first names of people they’d heard - may be able to help us. Hey a spark ... worth a shot. First CT number called was answered, but lady who answered at 9 p.m., but being in the state of Georgia? She was retired, "but you’ve called a right number, the kids have done the right thing to help this osprey!“

    The osprey coordinates were shared, the kids left to set up a vigil, lawn chair mini camp.The second name/number on my list called back, additional info on the situation - on-site clarity. This led the charge, within another hour the arrival of five separate vehicles, five helpers now on site. Lucy, Scott and Kory waited to pinpoint and assist the experts, now completely in the evening darkness. Those vehicles include two big hoist trucks, one from Eversource. It was atop a high voltage power line. Spotlights showed the osprey seemed trapped, perhaps stuck in something, maybe it was a fishing line. The teams formulated a plan over cold waters the teens served, it was still hot at 11 p.m.

    The two hoists went into action, with Eversource cutting power, second hoist with expert. He placed a towel over Oscar, to calm the osprey. Success, downward!

    The bird was dehydrated after those hours stranded, appeared slow/confused, luckily not trapped. Our expert reported it was a fledgling, likely testing wings and not long away from the nest. But it was a-ok! The dehydration comes from a lack of food, they eat only fish only of course. That gives moisture. Oscar won a couple days spa visit recovery at the raptor sanctuary, to make 100% sure there are no issues.

    Epilogue: Oscar the osprey was doing well and so released here yesterday, right here near the beach nest areas. This rescued osprey immediately flew to a nearby rooftop where a relieved Momma osprey joined it. The two then flew off together

    (Also: it’s actually Oscarette as the three kids helped to save a young female, per the expert)

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