PSEG-LI worker rescues osprey tangled in fishing line

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An osprey found itself in a dangerous predicament when it got entangled in a fishing line high above Mattituck Creek. But this story has a happy ending.

Aaron Virgin, with the Group For The East End, was working in the area at around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning when he spotted the bird.

"We thought, 'Oh wow, this bird is in trouble. And being 25, 30 feet up, we're not climbing trees. We didn't have a ladder, obviously," he said.

So he called several agencies for help. Steve Ostrowski of PSEG-LI came to the rescue. Ostrowski estimated the bird was stuck overnight.

Ostrowski wasted no time. He got into the bucket of his truck to save the bird.

"I went up in the air," he said. "He was spread eagle by the monofilament line, hanging in the air, 25 feet in the air, couldn't move. And I cut him down, lowered him to the ground and we unraveled him."

Rescuers with the Group For The East End wrapped the frightened osprey in a cloth. They say he appears to be a young male bird, slightly undernourished, but alert.

Ostrowski says this was his first osprey rescue in his 30-plus years on the job with PSEG-LI.

"To have a live bird at the end of the line, fantastic," he said. "Usually I get there and we have birds that have succumb to electricity. But this time we had a live bird and it was terrific."

The osprey was taken to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays where he is being monitored. Rescuers hope the bird will eventually be released back into the wild.

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