UPDATED: Last chick rescued from the Osprey nest west of Nelson
Osprey watchers listening to the sounds from the Columbia Wireless webcam can only hear vehicles passing by after the Orphan Wildlife Rehabiliation Society decided to accepted the last chick from the Osprey nest west of Nelson.
The decision came after two of chicks in the next passed away after the father Osprey was killed striking a power line near the nest.
With no father to provide food, volunteers from Nelson Hydro began supplying fish to the mother, in hopes she would feed her last remaining chick.
But the mother had stopped feeding the baby osprey and the decision was made to take action.
“This was done utilizing a large bucket truck and a local utility arborist,” OWL said in a press release.
“The arborist gently removed the chick, placing it into a pillowcase and then inside a hard shell bucket. The chick was brought down and handed over to the local representative from OWL. “
The release when on to say the “chick ate ravenously and seemed to be fairly strong after eating.”
The release added “It is hoped that she will now concentrate on feeding herself, and then look for a new mate in preparation for next year’s mating season.”
The Nelson Osprey have been an interest to thousands around the world (see story below) thanks in part ot Nelson Hydro and Columbia Wireless.
Thousands all over the world follow Nelson’s Osprey, but offers to help mama declined
Thanks, but no thanks at this time.
That the message from Nelson Hydro to the Osprey webcam viewers who would like to donate money to help the recently widowed osprey mama raise her chicks.
“It is wonderful to hear how the community of residents and Columbia Wireless and Nelson Hydro Power have committed to feeding Nellie and the chicks,” wrote Diane Rooney from El Cerrito, California.
“Many of us outside Nelson would like to help with this effort. We can’t send fish but we can send checks. All we need is who to make them out to and whether to send them to Nelson Hydro at City Hall or some other address/”
But Nelson Hydro’s Doug Pickard said that money is not needed at this time.
“I appreciate the offer,” he said. ‘We are okay for fish, we’re getting donations from both Kootenay Lake and the West Arm.”
“We don’t want to dissuade people from helping if we need help later, but I’ve got a freezer full of fish.”
Webcam viewers were shocked to hear a loud bang on June 20 after the father left the nest early in the morning.
The bird’s electrocuted body was found four days later after it was determined that he ran into a high voltage line and his accident blew a transformer.
Traditionally it is the male who fishes and the female who feeds and protects.
Professionals and fishers put their heads together to come up with a plan to feed the mother and two chicks from a bucket truck every two days until they are able to be on their own.
The effort brought supportive emails from the United States and a flurry of activity on the Columbia Wireless Webcam chat line.
“We might take another look at the offers a little later,” said Pickard. “But the jury is out as far as the survival for these chicks is concerned. I don’t know if I will have to return money.
“So I’m going to respectfully decline any money contributions at this time.”
As of Wednesday evening, the webcam had more than 270,000 views. Pickard said he hoped the interest generates a conservation ethic among those who would harm birds of prey, and be a real-time positive experience for kids who are watching the drama of the chicks unfold.
There was a time, he said, when birds of prey were shot for sport. “We ought to be able to do better than that now,” he said.
Viewers are treated to an audio portion of the webcam due to another act of Nature. The first camera was lost from a power surge caused by a severe lightening storm and the replacement came with audio.
“We used money from the environmental side of our funding to replace and upgrade the camera,” he said.
“We wish these birds luck.”