Monday, August 19, 2013

Episode 175 (8-19-13): Osprey Rescue Reinforces Role of Fishing-line Recycling

Click to listen to episode (2:58).


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of August 19, 2013.

This week, we feature another series of mystery sounds. Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess how the first two sounds add up to the third. And here’s a hint: misplaced line makes for a tangled angler.


If you guessed, an Osprey running afoul of some fishing line, you’re right! Along with the call of an Osprey—or “Fish Hawk”—and the sound of fishing line, you heard part of a rescue of an Osprey chick stuck in fishing line. The latter sound was taken from the “Osprey Cam,” the Chesapeake Conservancy’s real-time video transmission from an Osprey nest on Kent Island, Maryland. On July 29, the camera showed that one of this year’s three chicks had gotten its legs caught in fishing line. Some viewers of the bird’s predicament went to the site, waded out to the nest with a ladder, and climbed up and disentangled the chick. Unwittingly, this lucky Osprey chick had starred in a documentary about the value of fishing-line recycling stations. Birds, sea turtles, and other animals can get stuck in, or eat, improperly discarded fishing line, nets, and other plastic items. Such material can also get caught in boat propellers or intakes. Recycling programs for fishing line are one way to help reduce these threats. Virginia began a statewide fishing-line recycling program in February 2009, and as of August 2013, the program had over 110 locations. So please look for the distinctive plastic tubes with a curved top, and help put plastic back to use, instead of on a beak or fin. Thanks to Lang Elliot, Timothy Seaman, and the Chesapeake Conservancy, respectively, for permission to use this week’s sounds of an Osprey, fishing line, and the Osprey rescue.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463. From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 8/19/13]

Osprey chicks on nest in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, 2012. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), made available for public use by the USFWS’ National Digital Library, online at, accessed 8-12-13.

Fishing-line recycling container at South Holston Lake, Washington County, Virginia, April 15, 2013.

The call of an Osprey was taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott, whose work is available online at and the “Music of Nature” Web site,

The fishing line sound was taken from “Bass Fisherman’s Reel” on the 2004 CD “Virginia Wildlife,” copyright Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission. More information about Timothy Seaman is available online at

The sounds of the rescue of an Osprey chick caught in fishing line were taken from a video recorded by the Chesapeake Conservancy’s “Osprey Cam,” available online at, used with permission. For more information about the camera or the Conservancy, contact the Conservancy at 716 Giddings Avenue, Suite 42, Annapolis, Maryland 21401; phone (443) 321-3610; e-mail:

Information on the July 29, 2013, rescue of the Osprey chick caught in fishing line was taken from Osprey cam chick Ozzie is rescued, [Easton, Md.] Star Democrat, 8/7/13; and from the Chesapeake Conservancy’s “Osprey Cam,” online at

Florida was one of the first states to start a fishing-line program; information on the Florida program, including advice on starting such a program, is available online at A three-minute video on building a fishing-line recycling container is available from the Boat Owners Association of the United States, online at

Information about Osprey in Virginia is available from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries “Fish and Wildlife Information Service” Web page at; Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s “All About Birds” Web site at, and the “Birds of North America Online” Web site from the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, online at (subscription required for the latter Web site).