Osprey rescue at 120 feet in Mount Shasta

Steve Gerace
Dale Nova of Able Tree Services maneuvers an osprey into a bag near the top of the 120 foot radio tower on S. Mt. Shasta Blvd. The osprey had become entangled by a piece of blue nylon rope connected to the nest on top of the tower.

Observers cheered when Dale Nova rescued a stuck osprey near the top of the 120-foot radio tower on S. Mt. Shasta Blvd. Thursday afternoon, Aug. 14.

The audience grew as Nova, of Able Tree Services in Mount Shasta, climbed the tower to reach the osprey that was dangling below the nest that has been a fixture at the top of the tower for many years.

Despite its frequent attempts during the day, the osprey had been unable to extricate itself from a piece of blue nylon rope connected to the nest.

As two other osprey at times flew around the tower squawking, Nova maneuvered the entangled osprey into a bag and lowered it by rope to the ground.

California Fish & Wildlife Warden Chad Edwards put the osprey in a cage in the back of his truck and drove off to take it to a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Redding.

Dale Nova had assistance from his wife Giselle and others, including property owner Fred Erickson, Mount Shasta Police Chief Parish Cross, and another local tree service owner, Darren Turner, who came to the tower to offer his assistance.

The audience of onlookers eventually grew to about 70 or 80 people. “Your awesome,” yelled one woman as Nova put the osprey in the bag.

Giselle said it’s not unusual for Able Tree Service to go 120 feet up in a tree, and they try to help in other situations when they can. “We’re experts in the air,” she said.

“That’s a tough climb,” said Turner. “Everything gets hung up on the bars; it’s not like the trees.”