Triple Rescue And Rehab Ends Well For Lucky Ospreys

Rehabbed osprey flies away after its release Wednesday in Finley, Washington.Andrea Berglin
Rehabbed osprey flies away after its release Wednesday in Finley, Washington.
Andrea Berglin


By Tom Banse, NW News Network


Three young ospreys and a parent are flying free along the Columbia River today after surviving close calls with litter.

One of these ospreys was rescued by BPA linemen last week as it dangled from its nest in a tangle of plastic baling twine near Kennewick, Washington. The other two were pushed out of a different nest near Burbank, Washington, when their mother thrashed about in a wad of derelict fishing net.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Army Corps of Engineers staff captured and cut the mother free last month. All three youngsters were rehabbed at Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton, Oregon.

Center director Lynn Tompkins said the trio was released together at the first nest this week.

“The parents are still there. They’ll feed all three babies. Birds are just amazing that way. It’s like the one baby went back to his nest and he brought two friends home from camp,” Tompkins said with a chuckle.

Tompkins said the second nest was not easily accessible to stage a release there. She said ospreys have an unhealthy fondness for feathering their nests with discarded baling twine or fishing line. No one can explain why.


Twice earlier this year, volunteers with Tompkins’ center responded to osprey entanglements, but the birds were dead by the time rescuers arrived.

“This is as good as it gets. Three out of three,” Tompkins enthused.

She wishes more fishermen and farmers would pick up after themselves when fishing line gets snagged or hay bales are cut loose. “You know, people don’t think of the consequences of their actions, leaving all this stuff around. Or it’s not convenient or something,” Tompkins said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it has been involved in five rescues of entangled ospreys in the last three years just around its Mid-Columbia refuges.

“It’s a really big problem, and who would have thought it,” USFWS natural resource planner Dan Haas said. “It’s a miracle there aren’t more entanglements.”

Haas participated in the initial rescue of the osprey chick pair near his office in Burbank, Washington. He said he is delighted the young raptors recovered from their ordeal and were successfully released back into the wild.

“Who knows how many are dying without ever being discovered,” Haas said.

Recycling programs have started in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Idaho’s upper Salmon River valley to collect used baling twine so the ospreys can’t get it and bring it to their nests in place of lichens and grasses.

All Breed Equine Rez-Q raising funds for horse quarantine station

Sienna is fed by Colleen Chamberlain, weekend manager of the All Breed Equine Rez-Q, during its July 12 Kit-N-Kaboodle.— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner
Sienna is fed by Colleen Chamberlain, weekend manager of the All Breed Equine Rez-Q, during its July 12 Kit-N-Kaboodle.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

By Kirk Boxleitner, The Marysville Globe

MARYSVILLE — Organizers deemed the All Breed Equine Rez-Q’s July 12 Kit-N-Kaboodle barbecue and raffle a success, but more fundraisers are needed, so an Aug. 16 open house at 2415 116th St. NE is planned.

Dale Squeglia, founder and president of the nonprofit group, explained that it needs a horse quarantine station that will cost about $20,000.

“And we’re not even close to having that amount of money,” said Squeglia, who pointed out that it costs $8,000 just to supply the horse rescue with enough hay for a year. “Our hay loft is almost down to nothing right now.”

One of the horses that will benefit from the horse quarantine station is Biscuit, whom volunteer Colbie Cooper explained is a descendant of the famous racehorse Seabiscuit.

Cooper gave visitors guided tours of the horse rescue’s stalls and pastures during the Kit-N-Kaboodle, and elaborated on the other needs faced by the horses.

“Blackberry is a miniature donkey who might be pregnant, so we need to have that checked out,” Cooper said. “If it’s a boy, we should call it Boysenberry.”

Sienna is a Western Trail riding horse who’s spent the past several months recovering from being ridden with a leg injury for years, while Toffee suffered from severe obesity. Many of the rescue’s horses, including Jim and Lucy, were abused by their former owners, while others were surrendered to the rescue because their owners no longer had the time or money to care for them.

In addition to money, the horse rescue could always use more volunteers like Cooper, who can be trained to perform basic tasks such as feeding and watering the horses, cleaning stalls, grooming and exercising them, sweeping the barn and cleaning the grounds.

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Baby Owls Rescued! Fluff & Puff Now Chowing on Crickets, Mice and Chick

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

The tiny creatures had been abandoned and left to their nest as the wildfire raged closer in the Sierra National Forest in mid-June.

Too young to fly, two newborn Western screech owls could not escape the flames on their own. But no one knew they were there until the tree they were hiding in was felled to form part of the fire control line. The birds tumbled out of their nest onto a roadway, the U.S. Forest Service reported in a July 18 blog entry.

Two firefighters saw them, scooped them up and summoned assistance, which brought Anae Otto, a wildlife biologist for the Sierra National Forest’s Bass Lake Ranger District.

“My heart was racing when I received the report of owls on the ground in the Carstens Fire,” Otto told the forest service after making the 2.5-hour drive to retrieve the birds. “I was concerned because there were no details as to how old they were, how long they had been exposed, etc. I was relieved to find the owlets alive and in fair condition. So much of my daily work deals with habitat protection. It was very rewarding to provide direct assistance to an animal in need.”

Otto estimated they were between two and three weeks old. She wrapped them in a towel and brought them home overnight, the forest service said, then called for reinforcements the next day. That brought in wildlife rehab specialist Terri Williams, a volunteer for the Fresno Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Service.

Now the two owls, dubbed Puff and Fluff, are being cared for until they can fly. At last report they were chowing down daily on 25 crickets, two mice and a chick.

It was a heartwarming moment in a wildfire season fraught with tragedy at the death of 19 firefighters in Arizona in June. (Related: Hero Firefighters Named, Mourned, in Arizona)

The Western screech owl, Megascops kennicottii, is plentiful over the western half of Turtle Island, although, as with their brethren the spotted owl, their habitat has been encroached upon by the barred owl as well as eroded by logging and development. (Related: Pot-Farm Raticide May Be Killing Spotted Owls; Hoopa Tribe Investigates)

Puff and Fluff will grow to be 7½ to 10 inches long, according to information on the species from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. They will weigh between four and seven ounces, and their wingspan will reach 21 inches or so, the department said.

The Carstens fire raged for 10 days between June 16 and June 26, according to CalFire, the website for California fire incidents. It burned 1,708 acres in total, including acreage in the Sierra National Forest.

Read the full story of Puff and Fluff’s rescue and recovery, Life’s a Hoot for Owlets Saved from Wildfire, at the U.S. Forest Service blog.