From a construction barge in the Lynnhaven Inlet, Thomas Hart of Cottrell Contracting watched as a young osprey fell from its nest, flew for 15 feet and then landed in the water, struggling. The osprey was drowning. The Lynnhaven Inlet has a strong current leading to the Bay, and the fledgling bird was in danger of being swept away. Thomas acted fast.
"We've got to save him," said Hart. "We can't just let him drown."
After taking a skiff into the river, Hart reached into the water with his bare hands to rescue the bird. After trying to reach animal rehabilitators from his cell phone for close to an hour, Hart took his boat to CBF's Brock Environmental Center where he brought it to the attention of the Brock Center staff. April Strickland, CBF's Director of Major Gifts for Hampton Roads, had past experience in animal rescue and rehabilitation and knew just who to call.
After contacting the Virginia Beach SPCA Wildlife Rehab Hotline, two potential rehabbers were located—one in Virginia Beach and one in Chesapeake. Three interns, two from CBF and one from Lynnhaven River NOW, volunteered to transport the osprey to Nature's Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation in Chesapeake, VA.
After being secured in comfortable conditions, the osprey was transported safely to be rehabilitated. The osprey will be fed and housed until it is deemed strong enough to live on its own back where it was found in the Lynnhaven.
It is important to remember that wildlife rescue and rehabilitation is not one of CBF's direct responsibilities. If you find injured or stranded wildlife in Virginia Beach, be sure to first call the VBSPCA Wildlife Response Team at 757-263-4762 to find a rehabilitator.
Wyatt Young, CBF Hampton Roads Communications Intern