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Byron Shire
May 30, 2023

Local osprey tangled in fishing line being monitored closely

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The nesting of two Ospreys in Brunswick Heads was greeted by excitement recently when they took to the new platform that was built for them by Byron Shire Council so concerns for the welfare of the female of the pair when it was reported that she was tangled in fishing line have been significant.

Yesterday it was reported to WIRES northern rivers the female had fishing wire wrapped around both her feet and her body as well as a hook in her wing.

The female osprey has fishing line tangled around its body and foot and a hook in its wing. Photo Byron Vibe.

WIRES and Australian Seabird Rescue (ASBR) in Ballina are now working together to monitor and potentially remove the fishing line and hook.

‘After two and a half hours of fishing yesterday she has only got fishing line around one foot and there is some loosely around her body but she is flying beautifully,’ said Jodie Bawn a rescuer from WIRES  who is part of the monitoring team.

The hook is still in her wing and they are monitoring her closely.

So far the have not been able to catch the female and the interests from the public and the media at the site has been causing challenges as it is disturbing the birds and making it more difficult to catch her.

‘We are asking people to stay away from the site and give the bird her space while WIRES and ASBR try to resolve the issue,’ said Jodie.

The two groups are working together and have someone checking on the birds every four hours. They groups are wanting to let people know that it could be a long process to resolve all the issues involved in removing both the fishing line and the fishing hook.

‘If the hook isn’t near the bone then raptor specialists have told us that she may well be remove that herself when she is preening. If it is near the bone then there is a risk of sepsis so it will need to be removed,’ Jodie told Echonetdaily.

‘Currently she is eating well but we need people to stay away from the birds so that we have a better chance of being able to treat the bird if we need to.’

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