Tragedy strikes Port Lincoln

I didn’t think that another sadness could follow so quickly on the loss of eyas 4 at the Collins Street Four in Melbourne but it has. I want to thank a very kind reader ‘B’ who wrote to me to tell me of this shaking news.

Solly was the first hatch at Port Lincoln for the 2020 season. She was big sister to surviving male sibling, DEW. Because she was a female and showed all the promises of success, Solly was fitted with a tracker. Her flights changed our knowledge of Eastern Osprey dispersal ranges. She loved Eba Anchorage and going out to Kiffin Island for fish and she usually made it home to roost in ‘her’ dead tree.

Sadly, Solly flew to Streaky Bay to go fishing. On the 11th of November, postings began to appear on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page wondering if anyone had seen Solly. Her tracker had not moved.

After reading the posting, Richard Hobbs went out in search of Solly. Everyone hoped that her tracker was broken. Sadly, it wasn’t. Richard found Solly’s body at the base of a power pole. This is just shattering news.

The killing of birds by power lines does not need to happen. This was an entirely preventable death. We have seen two birds in the same White Stork family die on power lines near Mlady Buky this year (mother and son) in the Czech Republic. I am sent notices of birds from all around the world who have lost their lives by being electrocuted. Latvia has brought in legislation that every power line must be amended so that birds cannot die by landing on it. I am informed that the power companies were given a long leash and have now waited to the end time period to adhere to the laws – birds dying in the meantime.

I get letters every day from people asking me how they can help the birds. Every day. Beautiful people reading this blog. Here is one way that you can help today and it will not cost you anything but your time. And it is not an expensive fix for the Hydro companies either. They do not have to replace the poles, they just need to put a protective device over the points of contact.

  1. Take the time to write an e-mail about the horrific deaths that birds face when they land on unprotected power poles.
  2. Give them a specific example. Solly is a good one but you might well know of one in your area of the world also.
  3. Inform them that these are unnecessary deaths that are cruel and should never happen.
  4. The need to protect our wildlife from human causes is very important. We need nature and the birds and animals much more than they need us. Word something like this if you wish.
  5. OR speak to what nature means to you and how the birds and animals enrich your life.
  6. Send an e-mail to The Honourable David Spiers, Government of South Australia, Minister for the Environment and Water. His e-mail address is minister.spiers@sa.gov.au
  7. Appeal to him to be a leader. He was with the Port Lincoln team banding the nestlings this past week. Pull at that connection. Whatever you think you can write that invoke action on his part. He can make a huge difference and set an example to everyone.
  8. Lastly, think about writing to your own local power company. Outcries work. In Manitoba, after some horrific Osprey electrocutions, people literally went wild towards out public utility. Those poles were not only protected but Osprey poles began to be erected. Just this year, a small group of us stopped them from clear cutting where there was an active Cooper’s Hawk nest.
  9. People can make a difference.

I just didn’t think the news could get sadder. It was only a couple of days ago we celebrated three healthy male brothers for Solly this year. Solly had such promise and taught us so much. Do it for her – do it for them! I am writing my letter right now. If Spiers loves Ospreys as much as people say, your love for them can only inspire him to do something. A positive that his constituents can see also!

Thank you to ‘B’ who wrote me right away. I didn’t know and I am so glad you reached out. Thank you to the Port Lincoln FB page for the map and to all those who loved Solly including Richard Hobbs who went in search of her.

2 Comments

  1. Salliane says:

    Tragedy in the world of birds 😦 😦
    I’ll send the email tomorrow. It is so sad how the activity of humans cause so much damage to wildlife. Sadly it will still continue

    Solly has crossed over the rainbow bridge and is flying high with other ospreys and does not need to worry about anything that could hurt her.
    Maybe she may meet up with our lovely Malin.

    Thank you for sharing and to “B”
    Sending my prayers for Solly.

    1. Thank you, Salliane. I am hoping that with the Minister just banding those osplets at Port Lincoln that he will appreciate the urgency of the matter and do something. You and I both know the frustration when humans refuse to do anything (Collins Marsh) and when they do (Patuxent). I hope Mr Spiers will show some initiative and fix this – it is a simple problem that will save lots of lives of our beloved birds.

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