Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Sunday, March 03, 2024

Osprey Watch - June 2015

Park Statement Regarding the Osprey Nest
We are saddened by the recent events from the nest.  Apparently the same Great Horned Owl that has preyed on the young for the past several years has struck again.  Early morning on June 5th we found that both chicks were gone.  We searched the area below the pole and found one of them alive in the grass.  The chick seemed to be doing fine and we warmed it in an enclosure as we tried to rent a lift to get the chick back to the parents.  We were going to give the parents a short bit of time to see if they would take care of the young one before we took it to the local wildlife center.  We put the chick in the nest and pulled out to see what would happen.  The mother flew in but then flew back out.  We could tell that the chick was not doing well and seemed to be in distress.  We took the lift back in to remove the chick and get it to the local wildlife center (as we had already made contact with them and made arrangements to get the chick there just in case). Our attempt failed and the chick passed away.  We had been in contact with the wildlife center and it is our procedure to try to reunite the chick to the parents first, the chick seemed fine until we pulled the lift out of the area.