Operation: Wingman Down

January 12, 2018
By Marcy Shortuse

BY SUE ERWIN – When Cotton Hanley was getting ready to leave her home on Treasure Lane on Monday afternoon, she noticed quite a scene in the backyard. An osprey had apparently gotten caught in some material in a tall tree, and was stuck.
“I had seen it flying around carrying a stick just a few minutes before, so it must have been working on building a nest,” Hanley said.

Mike and Tammy Kipp were the volunters from Wildlife Center of Venice who plucked the osprey from its precarious situation in a tall tree. Photos submitted

Before she knew it, two volunteers from the Wildlife Center of Venice stepped in to help. Mike and Tammy Kipp borrowed a later from workers next door and Mike quickly headed up the tree to assess the situation. What he found was the bird had been caught in a plastic weed barrier that had blown up into the tree branches.
“This is a good reminder for everyone to remember to properly discard of any items when you’ve finished a project,” Hanley said. “So many things can cause problems for our wildlife, and we should all try to be more vigilant.”
The bird was safely released from Mrs. Hanley’s dock by the Venice Wildlife Center volunteers.
“I was so captivated by the release, I forgot to get photos of the bird while it was in flight,” Hanley said.
The Wildlife Center of Venice has many volunteers on the island and they have helped rescue and transport numerous birds, turtles, and other island wildlife so they can recover at the center located at 3252 Border Road in Venice. For learn more about the organization, visit wildlifecenterofvenice.org.