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Fire department called to South Park and Mission Bay – for bird rescues

Trained on SeaWorld gondolas

Mission Bay rescue of osprey. "I hope the hook comes out of its wing before too long."
Mission Bay rescue of osprey. "I hope the hook comes out of its wing before too long."

On Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, the San Diego Humane Society called the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to rescue a bird in distress in South Park. The first responders drove Truck 1, a red-colored tractor-trailer rig, and parked it underneath a tree on 32nd Street by Grape Street. The firefighters extended the telescopic ladder, which extends between 75 to 100 feet, depending on if the trailer contains a three or four-section ladder, and a firefighter ascended towards the bird hanging by its feet on tree branches.

Fire truck 1 called to 32nd Street by Grape Street.

On the fire department's Instagram video, the firefighter is seen reaching out with what appears to be a red jacket in hand towards a black-colored bird flapping its wings. "The crew was able to safely free the bird, which was handed over to the SD Humane Society officers," read part of the caption on the video.

"Great rescue," karenrneill commented underneath the rescue video, "showing compassion and empathy for all creatures, great or small -- job well done."

At about 9 a.m. on May 13, the Humane Society called the fire department about an osprey stuck on fishing wire and hanging upside down about 80 feet up in a tree in Mission Bay Park.

The osprey was caught in a eucalyptus tree south of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

"It was crazy; that's the first time I saw a bird stuck like that, here," a San Diego County Parks & Recreation worker told me as he pointed to a large eucalyptus tree south of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort on May 15. "There were five [rescue] vehicles that pulled up."

On the fire department's Instagram video of the osprey rescue, two firemen are depicted climbing an aerial ladder protruding from Truck 20. The firefighter who was up higher on the ladder extended a tree pruner towards the white-and-black osprey, then sliced the fishing line stuck on one of the bird's flapping wings. The osprey flew away, and the purveyors down below cheered and clapped.

"I'm impressed with the solution to cut the line with a hot stick," commented a nearby dweller, "I hope the hook comes out of its wing before too long."

Ospreys' wingspans can grow to nearly six feet, and they predominantly eat fish, according to a 2013 Reader article. "While they are not a threatened or endangered species, their eggs were made fragile by pesticides, including DDT. They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918."

"Thousands of birds are injured or killed each year when they become tangled in man-made materials, like fishing lines," says intobirds.com. "So it's important when you're fishing always to dispose of unwanted fishing gear. And when out birding or hiking and see fishing line, please pick it up."

In April, the SD Fire-Rescue technical rescue personnel were at SeaWorld, across the bay from where they would rescue the osprey stuck on a fishing line a month later. The first responders utilized the gondolas and the hovering cables atop the water to practice their high elevation rescue skills, as seen on their Instagram post. "This is an annual training exercise so the team can be prepared for any emergency."

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Mission Bay rescue of osprey. "I hope the hook comes out of its wing before too long."
Mission Bay rescue of osprey. "I hope the hook comes out of its wing before too long."

On Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, the San Diego Humane Society called the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to rescue a bird in distress in South Park. The first responders drove Truck 1, a red-colored tractor-trailer rig, and parked it underneath a tree on 32nd Street by Grape Street. The firefighters extended the telescopic ladder, which extends between 75 to 100 feet, depending on if the trailer contains a three or four-section ladder, and a firefighter ascended towards the bird hanging by its feet on tree branches.

Fire truck 1 called to 32nd Street by Grape Street.

On the fire department's Instagram video, the firefighter is seen reaching out with what appears to be a red jacket in hand towards a black-colored bird flapping its wings. "The crew was able to safely free the bird, which was handed over to the SD Humane Society officers," read part of the caption on the video.

"Great rescue," karenrneill commented underneath the rescue video, "showing compassion and empathy for all creatures, great or small -- job well done."

At about 9 a.m. on May 13, the Humane Society called the fire department about an osprey stuck on fishing wire and hanging upside down about 80 feet up in a tree in Mission Bay Park.

The osprey was caught in a eucalyptus tree south of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

"It was crazy; that's the first time I saw a bird stuck like that, here," a San Diego County Parks & Recreation worker told me as he pointed to a large eucalyptus tree south of the San Diego Mission Bay Resort on May 15. "There were five [rescue] vehicles that pulled up."

On the fire department's Instagram video of the osprey rescue, two firemen are depicted climbing an aerial ladder protruding from Truck 20. The firefighter who was up higher on the ladder extended a tree pruner towards the white-and-black osprey, then sliced the fishing line stuck on one of the bird's flapping wings. The osprey flew away, and the purveyors down below cheered and clapped.

"I'm impressed with the solution to cut the line with a hot stick," commented a nearby dweller, "I hope the hook comes out of its wing before too long."

Ospreys' wingspans can grow to nearly six feet, and they predominantly eat fish, according to a 2013 Reader article. "While they are not a threatened or endangered species, their eggs were made fragile by pesticides, including DDT. They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918."

"Thousands of birds are injured or killed each year when they become tangled in man-made materials, like fishing lines," says intobirds.com. "So it's important when you're fishing always to dispose of unwanted fishing gear. And when out birding or hiking and see fishing line, please pick it up."

In April, the SD Fire-Rescue technical rescue personnel were at SeaWorld, across the bay from where they would rescue the osprey stuck on a fishing line a month later. The first responders utilized the gondolas and the hovering cables atop the water to practice their high elevation rescue skills, as seen on their Instagram post. "This is an annual training exercise so the team can be prepared for any emergency."

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