Chaumont firefighters save trapped osprey

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 4:48 PM EDT
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CHAUMONT, New York (WWNY) - It wasn’t a typical call for the Chaumont Volunteer Fire Department earlier this week. A Tuesday night discovery led to a risky rescue.

April hasn’t been the easiest month for the department.

“It’s been a very long month. It’s been full of crazy calls, obviously, a bunch of structure fires too this month,” said Chaumont Fire Chief Will Lipczynski.

But a call came in Tuesday night no one was expecting.

“It was definitely a different change of pace,” said Lipczynski.

There was an osprey with string wrapped around its claws hanging upside-down off a tree along Chaumont Bay. Robert Locy’s son saw it from a distance, tried to help, but had no luck. He called his dad.

“It was really, really distressed,” said Locy.

Locy, a volunteer with the Chaumont Fire Department, gave Lipczynski a call.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a cat or bird. Whatever you gotta do, they’re here to help the community and that’s what’s really important,” said Robert Locy.

Lipczynski says the rescue was tough. The osprey was hanging about five to six feet over the water.

“They were all hanging onto my back belt loop while I’m trying to stick over with a pike pole off our fire truck, trying to grab the piece of string. And of course, the winds were pretty bad Tuesday night,” he said.

Despite the challenges, the osprey was saved. Its claw had turned blue, but the bird was calm.

“It didn’t try biting us or nothing. It was so calm, and it knew it was getting help,” said Locy.

The osprey, tired from the event, was picked up and put next to a stone to rest. The next day it was gone.

Locy says it’s likely among the four ospreys that make nests along the telephone poles.

“It feels good to know that we saved that bird,” he said.

It’s an experience Locy will cherish.

“I don’t think I’ll ever hold onto an osprey again,” he said.

And it was a call Lypczynski says is for the books.

“This is definitely one for the records,” he said.