The osprey nest in Urangan.
The osprey nest in Urangan.

EMPTY NEST: Why one of Bay’s best-known birds is missing

ONE of the Bay's beloved ospreys has undergone lifesaving surgery after hooks became embedded in its neck and wing.

The bird, which was part of the nest of ospreys in Urangan, was noticed by members of the public with the hook through its neck and about two metres of fishing line hanging off it last week.

A second hook dangled from the fishing line.

The much-loved bird even has a boutique beer named after it - The Soaring Osprey at the Vinyard Bar & Restaurant where deck diners have a prime view of the treetop nest.

Members of the public contacted Natalie Richardson from Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast after spotting the bird.

She knew immediately it would be a challenge to capture the osprey because she remained fully capable of flight and was a large bird of prey.

"It does make it extremely difficult," she said.

The osprey with the hook embedded in its neck.
The osprey with the hook embedded in its neck.

Ms Richardson feared the line would become entangled and cause further damage.

"There were concerns the hook in the neck would become infected or tear her throat," she said.

The wildlife rescue team began working on a plan to capture the bird so she could be treated.

Meanwhile members of the public kept a close eye on the osprey.

A few days after she was first spotted, the bird was found on the ground.

The second hook had become embedded in her wing.

It had driven through the joint and out the other side, meaning she could no long fly.

"She had done major trauma to herself," Ms Richardson said.

A member of the wildlife rescue immediately attended the scene and caught the osprey.

She was taken to Australia Zoo's wildlife hospital and immediately underwent surgery to remove the hooks.

Ms Richardson said the surgery went well, but the osprey had significant injuries.

"She's getting the best possible care," she said.

If the bird recovered, she would be returned to her family in Urangan, Ms Richardson said.