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Lake Murray osprey raising chicks again

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The ospreys at Lake Murray in San Diego are, once again, raising two chicks on the nest platform. The nest is well known and has been on the top of the power pole on the western side of the lake for several years. Many years ago, the platform was placed by SDG&E because the osprey kept trying to build a nest on the actual wires. Since then, the resident osprey has been using the platform, building a nest and using it as a staging platform for fishing. The osprey would usually be gone in the summer and return in the fall and winter.

A few years ago, a pair of osprey began to stay at the lake for the entire year and began using the nest for raising chicks. The first time chicks were seen in the nest was in 2011 and chicks were reported, again, in 2012. The fate of those chicks is not known. In 2013, two more osprey chicks were in the nest and were easily seen by visitors to the lake. They became a sensation with regular visitors checking up on them daily, sometimes sitting near the nest for hours, taking pictures.

However, both of the chicks that year had issues. One chick, it was noticed, had trouble stretching out his wings. When he tried to fledge, he couldn’t and fell to the ground. That young osprey was transported to Project Wildlife where he was found to have old scars from a long broken wing. He is currently being worked with to be an ambassador in Project Wildlife’s educational programs. There were many rumors about what happened to the other chick. Some say he fell into the nearby cactus and died, some say he flew off and was fine, and some say he had fishing line around his leg so bad that he had to be euthanized. A few people say it wasn't the chick at all that had all this happen, but the adult male osprey.

Currently, things seem to be going well with the current two chicks in the nest. Mostly, the female is with them as the male brings them food, but sometimes the male uses the nest as a lookout or helps feed the chicks. So far, they haven’t attracted as much attention as last year’s chicks, possibly due to the early nesting season.

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