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Brightwaters osprey chicks rescued from nest fire, chief says

The Bay Shore Fire Department rescued three baby

The Bay Shore Fire Department rescued three baby ospreys on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Gilbert Park in Brightwaters after the birds' nest caught fire. Credit: Bay Shore Fire Department

Osprey chicks trapped in a burning nest atop a power pole in Brightwaters were rescued Wednesday morning by volunteer firefighters.

About 10:30 a.m., firefighters arrived to see the nest near Gilbert Park slowly burning, according to Bay Shore Fire Chief John Ippolito Jr.

The nest caused a transformer on the pole to overheat, he said.

“It was burning from underneath, so we had to get the chicks out of there before they were harmed,” Ippolito said.

Firefighters responding to a call about a fire at the park, spotted the burning nest at the end of South Windsor Avenue.

As Kyle Voges and Brian Ball approached the nest on a ladder, the mother bird flew off. After consulting with the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, Voges and Ball doused the flames with a dry-chemical extinguisher and removed the four chicks. One was found dead, Ippolito said.

PSEG Long Island turned off power to the line, allowing Voges and Ball to hose down the nest and return the surviving chicks to their home. The chick that died was buried in the park.

Within minutes, the mother bird returned and was reunited with her chicks.

PSEG has de-energized the power line nearest the nest, and is planning to erect a pole nearby with a platform on top in the fall to encourage the birds to nest there, a spokeswoman said.

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