Press "Enter" to skip to content

Osprey euthanized after becoming tangled with fishing line

A Gloucester Point osprey was euthanized last week following irreparable wing damage caused by discarded fishing line.

Viewers of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Osprey Cam saw the 7-8 week-old bird become tangled in the line after its mother brought the offending article back to the nest.

Ospreys gather eelgrass and other buoyant natural debris from the water surface to build their nests and can mistake fishing line or other filaments for these natural items, said a VIMS press release.

It was not clear whether the trash was the result of littering or a broken or snagged line.

In the past, ospreys have been observed bringing plastic bags, cup lids, flip-flops, and even a swim diaper back to a nest, according to Dr. Bryan Watts, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology.

Young birds can become tangled in man-made debris, especially filaments like fishing line, and this can have severe consequences.

If wings are snared or immobilized, muscle development in the wing a...

To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.