The Stratford Fire Department is plagued with an unusual problem: Two ospreys that built a nest above the station are dropping sticks, fish and even a kitten in the path of unsuspecting firefighters below.
The ospreys, which can grow up to 2 feet long with wingspans over 5 feet, have nested on a communication antenna at the fire station along the Connecticut shoreline.
They often drop large sticks, and in some cases entire fish — their main source of food — in front of the main entrance below.
"We have ospreys that have built a nest up there and basically it's causing a little bit of problems with dropping stuff down on the main entrance of the fire station," said Stratford Fire Chief Robert McGrath.
An air conditioning unit was damaged last week after a dropped bass landed inside. Firefighters said the birds dropped a kitten on Sunday.
The other concern is that the nest could prevent the communication antenna from operating properly, according to the chief.
"It could compromise the signal going back and forth from the two towers," said McGrath.
According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, osprey are no longer endangered. The nest can be moved if there are no eggs inside, which firefighters say is the case with this one.
DEEP officials said April and May are egg-laying months for the birds, so firefighters are working on a plan to get the feathered visitors to leave.
"It's entertaining, I can tell you that, at best. But really, it's a nuisance," McGrath said.