PEI

Dead osprey prompts warning from P.E.I. farmer about trash

After finding a dead osprey on his property a man from Wheatley River, P.E.I., is asking Islanders to be more aware of where they put their garbage.

WARNING: Some readers may find a photo in this story disturbing

Farmer Charles Lipnicki points to an osprey nest on his farm where a young bird died tangled in trash. (Laura Meader/CBC)

After finding a dead osprey on his property a man from Wheatley River, P.E.I., is asking Islanders to be more aware of where they put their garbage.

Charles Lipnicki is a farmer who usually enjoys watching the large osprey nest on his property, but believes one of the birds died after becoming tangled in litter the birds gathered for the nest.

"What we're seeing here is the body of one of the fledgings that never really got a chance to fly because it got tangled in materials that the birds gather," said Lipnicki as he showed CBC News the nest.

'Give a second thought'

Lipnicki hopes the sight of the dead bird can be wake-up call for people to be more careful with trash.

This is 'one of the fledgings that never really got a chance to fly,' says Lipnicki. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"When we throw things away or discard them they don't always stay on the ground, they can harm animals and wildlife," he said. "I just hope people give a second thought to maybe bending over and picking up that piece of string or plastic."

He especially worries about plastics that don't break down, he said. 

An adult bird also got tangled here a few years ago but wildlife officials were able to free it. 

'Notorious' trash collectors

"Ospreys are notorious for when they build their nest, they drag all kind of plastic and string and make quite a big nest," said P.E.I. wildlife officer Chuck Gallison.

This osprey was actively flying around the nest and calling loudly. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"There's probably not a lot that needs or could be done to prevent this, it's just one of these things that happen."

The osprey population is doing well in general, Gallison said, noting most ospreys cope well with their sometimes-unusual nesting materials. However, any time people can keep waste out of the environment it's a good thing, he said. 

He plans to return with equipment to remove the dead bird and send it to the Atlantic Veterinary College to be analyzed.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Meader

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