At about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Carolyn Wells saw the adult osprey. The raptor was hanging helplessly from a power line over Hashamomuck Pond 50 feet north of the Long Island Rail Road trestle.
“I could see he was hanging from what looked like fishing line caught on the power line,” she said.
Fifty yards from the trestle, Ms. Wells pointed out the bird’s nest. An adult was sitting in the nest next to two fledglings.
“They were just learning to fly,” she said of the fledglings.
Soon, two volunteers from the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in East Quogue were on the scene. Jim MacDougal, one of the volunteers, walked onto the trestle to see the bird.
“You can tell he is mostly OK, but he’s trapped and we need to get him down,” he said. “He’s in shock and probably dehydrated.”
Soon after 1 p.m., two PSEG employees came with a long pole. Everyone waited another 30 minutes for Southold Town bay constable Joseph O’Leary to arrive in a boat. When he did, Mr. MacDougal and the two PSEG workers loaded into the boat, which Mr. O’Leary guided so they were under the bird. One of the workers then reached up with the long pole and snipped the fishing line.
The osprey dropped into the water, where Mr. MacDougal picked him up in a net and gently wrapped him in a towel. When they came ashore, he said, “I think he’s going to be OK.”
Mr. MacDougal rushed the bird to the wildlife center, where later in the afternoon he said in a phone call the bird was doing well.
“We will get him back to full health and return him to his nest,” he said.