Majestic bird caught in embarrassing predicament after flying into utility pole in NC


An osprey hit a utility pole in the eastern North Carolina town of Weldon and then got stuck, police say.

Weldon Police Department photo

A regal bird of prey known for its excellent vision managed to do something strange this week, when it flew into a utility pole in rural North Carolina.

The osprey then got stuck in a most undignified manner.

Police in Weldon, about 90 miles northeast of Raleigh, say “a concerned citizen” alerted them to the fact a big bird was dangling from a utility pole.

Photos shared Tuesday on Facebook showed the large bird was hanging upside down, with its talons tangled in wires.

Osprey are among the state’s largest birds standing nearly two-feet tall, with a wingspan of up to 6 feet, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

That means even a person with the best intention needs to proceed with caution.

Weldon police decided the safest course of action was to call the fire department, which brought a ladder truck to the scene. Before it was over, at least three departments were involved, including the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, police said.

“They were able to free the bird,” police wrote on Facebook. “The osprey had an injury and will be taken to a rehab center.”

It’s not clear how the bird got stuck, but “an osprey’s eyesight is 3-5 times greater than a human beings,” according to Osprey Nation.

That means the bird was either extremely unlucky … or just not paying attention. Either way, Facebook commenters noted the osprey was clearly not happy in the photos.

“That face,” Ashley Spence wrote.

“He’s not having it,” Ben Spence responded.

Some commenters on social media noted the bird did not look happy, even after being rescued. Weldon Police Department photo

Weldon Police Department Facebook post Facebook screenshot

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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