Young osprey rescued last month dies after electrocution

    Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Habitat Program Manager Ben Wurst untangles a young osprey from monofilament last month. The same bird recently died from electrocution. (Photo courtesy of Bonnie Myszka/Shack in the Swamp Photography)

    Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Habitat Program Manager Ben Wurst untangles a young osprey from monofilament last month. The same bird recently died from electrocution. (Photo courtesy of Bonnie Myszka/Shack in the Swamp Photography)

    A young osprey rescued last month by an avian biologist recently died from electrocution, a common cause of death for many large birds, a wildlife expert said. 

    According to a release from the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, the osprey, identified by his red auxiliary band (“39/D”), was recovered underneath a utility pole in Berkeley Township about 700 feet from his nest.

    “Each year we get reports of several ospreys, adults and young, that get electrocuted,” wrote the foundation’s Habitat Program Manager Ben Wurst, who rescued the bird along with JCP&L linemen. “We all need electricity to live in today’s technological world, so preventing this from happening throughout the range of ospreys in New Jersey would be really hard and very expensive.”

    Wurst said JCP&L, the utility company that owns the pole, was saddened to hear the news.

    “Electrocutions that are reported usually get swift action from the utility companies. They do not want to injure or kill ospreys or other birds of prey,” he said.

    Around half of ospreys have a chance of surviving to adulthood, according to Wurst. 

    “He lived long enough to experience flight and his death will help ensure that JCP&L steps up to help prevent this from happening at this site and others throughout their service territory,” he said.

    The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey encourages the public to report any injured or dead birds near power lines or utility poles to the area’s electric utility company.

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