Monday, August 16, 2021

Episode 590 (8-16-21): Osprey Rescue Reinforces Role of Fishing-line Recycling

CLICK HERE to  listen to episode audio (4:30).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 8-16-21.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 28, 2021.  This is a revised version of an episode from August 2013.

MUSIC – ~11 sec – instrumental

That’s part of “Bass Fisherman’s Reel,” an adaptation of a traditional tune called “Fisher’s Hornpipe,” by Williamsburg musician Timothy Seaman on his 2004 album, “Virginia Wildlife.”  The music sets the stage for a “reel” story about fishing equipment and a summer bird of prey.  We start with a 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, feathered fisher.

SOUNDS - ~19 sec

If you guessed, an Osprey running afoul of some fishing line, you’re right!  You heard he call of an Osprey, or “Fish Hawk,”; the sound of fishing line, being reeled in; and 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, 2013, the camera showed that one of that 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, or 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 2009, run jointly by the Department of Wildlife Resources—formerly the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries—and the Marine Resources Commission.  Recycling is now available at many boat ramps, parks, and marinas, as well as at some outdoor-equipment businesses.  At those locations, anglers can 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 and the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, to Timothy Seaman, and to the Chesapeake Conservancy, respectively, for permission to use this week’s sounds of an Osprey, fishing line, and the Osprey chick rescue.  Thanks also to Mr. Seaman for this week’s music, and we close with about 20 more seconds of “Bass Fisherman’s Reel.”

MUSIC – ~20 sec – instrumental 


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


This Virginia Water Radio episode revises and replaces Episode 175, 8-19-13.

The Osprey call sounds were 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.  Lang Elliot’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site,

The fishing line sound and musical excerpt from “Bass Fisherman’s Reel,” on the 2004 album “Virginia Wildlife,” is 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:

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at


Young Osprey in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.  Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), made available for public use by the USFWS’ National Digital Library, online at  The specific URL for this image was, as of 8-16-21.

Osprey in flight, 2016 (location not identified).  Photo by Alvin Freund, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at  The specific URL for this image was, as of 8-16-21.

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


Used for Audio

Boat US Foundation, online at

Chesapeake Conservancy, “Webcams/Osprey,” online at

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, “Commission, “Reel. Remove. Recycle – Don’t Leave Your Line Behind,” online at

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at  The Osprey entry is online at  Video from an Osprey camera at Savannah, Georgia, is available online at

Outdoor News, “State Agencies Initiate Fishing Line Recycling Program,” 2/10/09.

[Easton, Md.] Star Democrat, Osprey cam chick Ozzie is rescued, 8/7/13.

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (formerly Department of Game and Inland Fisheries):
“Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at; the Osprey entry is online at; “Recycle Your Fishing Line” is online at

Virginia Marine Resources Commission, “Introducing the Virginia Fishing Line Recycling Program,” online at

For More Information about Birds in Virginia and Elsewhere

Chesapeake Bay Program, “Birds,” online at

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Birds of the World,” online at (subscription required).

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Merlin Photo ID.”  The application for mobile devices allows users to submit a bird photograph to get identification of the bird. Information is available online at

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, “eBird,” online at  Here you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you can sign up to contribute your own observations.

National Audubon Society, online at

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, “Animal Diversity Web,” online at

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (formerly Department of Game and Inland Fisheries), “List of Native and Naturalized Fauna in Virginia, August 2020,” online (as a PDF) at

Virginia Society of Ornithology, online at  The Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and enjoyment of birds in the Commonwealth.

Xeno-canto Foundation, online at  This site provides bird songs from around the world.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the “Birds,” ‘Overall Importance of Water,” and “Recreation” subject categories. 


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2018 Science SOLs

Grades K-4: Living Systems and Processes
2.5 – Living things are part of a system.
4.3 – Organisms, including humans, interact with one another and with the nonliving components in the ecosystem.

Grades K-5: Earth Resources
K.11 – Humans use resources.
1.8 – Natural resources can be used responsibly, including that most natural resources are limited; human actions can affect the availability of natural resources; and reducing, reusing, and recycling are ways to conserve natural resources.
3.8 – Natural events and humans influence ecosystems.
4.8 – Virginia has important natural resources.

Grade 6
6.9 – Humans impact the environment and individuals can influence public policy decisions related to energy and the environment.

Life Science
LS.9 – Relationships exist between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science
ES.6 – Resource use is complex.
ES.8 – Freshwater resources influence and are influenced by geologic processes and human activity.

BIO.8 – Dynamic equilibria exist within populations, communities, and ecosystems, including that natural events and human activities influence local and global ecosystems and may affect the flora and fauna of Virginia.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Civics and Economics Course
CE.3 – Citizenship rights, duties, and responsibilities.
CE.7 – Government at the state level.
CE.10 – Public policy at local, state, and national levels.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – State and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – Public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15
– on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15
– on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16
– on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16
– on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18
– on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18
– on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18
– on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18
– on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19
– on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20
– on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20
– on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.