Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baling Twine!

It’s been an exciting couple of days for the osprey pair and not necessarily in a good way.

On Saturday, the refuge received phone calls and emails that the female osprey was entangled in bailing twine and caught in the nest. Volunteers at the visitor center watched as the female struggled to move around in the nest. Fortunately, within an hour the female was able to free herself!

A refuge visitor took these some great photos on Saturday. An osprey (presumably the female) with twine attached to one leg.

Both osprey on the nest. There is quite a bit of baling twine in the nest. These photos were taken by Jodi Darling, a local resident and frequent osprey observer. Well done Jodi!

Ospreys have an affinity for collecting baling twine to use as nesting materials. This excerpt from the Raptor View Research Institute gives a glimpse into the problem.

Baling Twine Project Through monitoring, we have encountered a serious, rather unexpected hazard to area ospreys. Baling twine is a polypropylene rope used to tie bales of hay, and it often gets left in fields after ranchers open the bales to feed livestock. Ospreys apparently go to great lengths to collect baling twine and line their nests with it: We have found baling twine in nearly every nest located in our study area. This results in a big problem, since the chicks and even the adults can easily get tangled in it. In some areas it kills more than 10 percent of the chicks before they fledge, as well as some of the adults. An osprey nest that blew down in a wind storm last spring contained more than a quarter of a mile of baling twine!”
The Raptor View Research Institute also has a great pamphlet about osprey and baling twine. View it at: