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Sad Ending for Baby Osprey

Attempted Osprey RescueUPDATE: The baby bird that was rescued from an 80-foot tall tree was found dead Saturday morning. The Executive director of Chintimini Wildlife Center says although it was not a happy ending to the story, they appreciated getting out the word on the well-being of this species.

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A Corvallis wildlife center tried to save a baby osprey in a tree on Thursday for the second time, but when rescuers made their way 100 feet up – the nest was empty.

A neighbor near the tree in South Corvallis saw a baby osprey trying to fly – but its foot seemed to be caught in the nest, as if it was tethered to something.

On Wednesday, Pacific Power helped Chintimini Wildlife Center try to rescue the baby bird out of the nest.

“The parent was actually coming and going from the nest,” said Jeff Picton, Executive Director of the Center. “The adult bird. And we could hear them chattering at each other. So there was definitely a bird that stayed in the nest the whole time that was making noise.”

But the lift was too short for the approximate 100-foot tree. So on Thursday, Pacific Power brought over its tallest boom lift: 100 feet high.

An employee with the company brought Picton up with him towards the nest, who was ready with gloves, a towel, and pliers to cut anything that might be caught on the bird’s foot.

“I don’t think there’s anybody in there,” Picton said 100-feet up in the air. “But I can’t see for sure.”

The lift was as high as it could go – but still couldn’t reach the nest because of its height and because of the angle of the tree. But Picton was able to lean over to get a closer look – and the nest was empty.

“I believe it’s empty folks,” he said. “I think it has flown the coop so to speak.”

Slowly, the lift made its long way down. Picton looked for any sign of the bird – but no luck.

“It’s disappointing in that there’s some possibility that the bird’s out there with some string still tied around its leg, which isn’t going to be good for it long-term,” Picton said.

Neighbors in the area say they think they saw the baby bird flying Thursday afternoon – with a piece of twine stuck to its leg.

“I don’t think there’s anything else we can do at this point,” Picton said. “Again, just hope for the best.”

Picton says he hopes the twine is able to untangle easily, and that the bird does not have a broken foot.

“I’m going to take the optimistic approach and hope for the best and figure it’s out there doing its normal thing now,” he said. “I guess I’d rather have it be gone and hope that it’s safe than to have it still be stuck up there and not be able to get to it. The lift’s still not quite high enough. So even if he’d been there, we wouldn’t have been able to get to it.”

Anyone who sees hurt wildlife can always bring it to the Chintimini Wildlife Center at 311 NW Lewisburg Ave. The Center is open every day of the year, and the community is also encouraged to call the Center with questions at (541) 745-5324.

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