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Second osprey chick passes during the night

The final surviving osprey chick is seen here on the morning of July 3. - Web photo
The final surviving osprey chick is seen here on the morning of July 3.
— image credit: Web photo

It's starting to look lonely in the osprey nest on the edge of Highway 3A.

The final surviving osprey chick being filmed via live webcam, whose father was killed last week by a high voltage power line, is struggling to survive after the death of its sibling early this morning.

The first osprey chick died on June 24, shortly after their father’s disappearance. The second one succumbed at 1:30 a.m.

“I don’t know why that happened or what occurred,” said Nelson Hydro line manager Doug Pickard. He said he planned to liaise with the raptor biologist that has been brought on to help them assist the embattled birds.

“The mother doesn’t seem to be particularly concerned. She's acting a little blasé about the whole thing,” said Pickard.

Indeed, the osprey matriarch was perched on the edge of the nest Thursday morning while her chick preened itself and hobbled around the interior.

“Nellie is probably exhausted - she has no-one to help her with nest duties,” wrote chatroom participant Trentgirl.

Pickard said everyone at Nelson Hydro is thinking about the final chick, and regular deliveries of fresh fish will continue for as long as necessary.

Outpourings of grief abounded in the online chat room, with birdbling77 announcing “I can’t watch anymore as I know the outcome looks grim. RIP to Nelson, Pewee, Tag and Neil :)”. Other discussed the options of transplanting the final chick to a new nest.

Pickard said he’s encouraged by the chicks’ vitality. “I’d like to see him eating something. He hasn’t eaten yet today,” he said.

The bird has approximately four weeks before it will be strong enough to survive on its own.

“We’re all hoping for that,” said Pickard.

Since the introduction of the webcam, a passionate osprey community has congregated online to follow the progress of the embattled osprey chicks. Anyone interested in contributing to their survival can donate suitable fresh fish to the Nelson Hydro office reception at 80 Lakeside Drive between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the work week. To keep updated on the osprey chicks, watch the live feed at ustream.tv/channel/nelson-osprey-nest.

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