Monday, July 14, 2014
Mark bringing down the first of the chicks. Awkward but it worked and you can see how high up the nest was.
Now for some groceries, Atlantic caught salmon.
Last Saturday I got a call from a friend, Dee Oudin, about the osprey nest she and her husband Jim have on their property just a few miles from here. She noticed the male had disappeared on the 3rd or 4th but the female was still taking care of the two chicks. Then after seeing the female on that morning, she disappeared. It is believed that they were murdered but of course we'll never know. These birds eat only fish and there are people out there with ponds who don't want any of their stocked fish taken by a bird of prey so they resort to shooting them.
Of course this all happened on the weekend so nothing could be done until today. I called the Rocky Mountain Power company this morning and left a message about having them come out with their bucket truck to retrieve the chicks. Then Dee also called them and got a confirmation that they would be there shortly. We all met and discussed just what to do but the hang up is that the field under the nest was flood irrigated and the huge truck wouldn't have made it through the mud.
Luckily Dennis Reed, of Reed Farms, gave us permission to drive across his hay field then over a dropped electric fence to the nest area. Thanks to the amazing work of Mark Preston and Lonny Owen, the truck was eventually in the perfect place. Mark went up with a fish net and scooped one of the babies up, came down and handed it off. Did the same for the second one. It all went off without a hitch.
Because they had been under a blazing sun and without food for at least three days, I sat in the shade of the power truck and tubed them with electrolytes and dextrose. I also gave them some small pieces of Atlantic salmon I'd purchased at Albertson's. At their age they aren't strong enough to stand for long anyway. They are weak but are now in a tire nest inside my mews and have been given more salmon from my forceps.
The projected ending will be fostering them into a nearby nest with only one chick and two parents. Hopefully these two will be strong enough for that to happen by this weekend.