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Osprey chicks appear to have fledged at Lake Murray

Osprey chicks trying out their wings at Lake Murray.
Osprey chicks trying out their wings at Lake Murray.
Darlene Luckins

The osprey nest at Lake Murray in San Diego has been busy again. This year, it appears that three chicks were raised there. The three checks were hatched a couple of months ago and were recently seen flapping their wings and showing interest in moving out of the nest. Their father worked tirelessly to feed the growing chicks while mother osprey protected them. When the chicks were ready to fledge, the mother also left the nest, possibly to encourage the youngsters to leave.

There was an unconfirmed report that one of the chicks had an accident when it tried to fledge over a week ago. It was said that he had a hard fall and was picked up by animal control or another wildlife handling agency. Little is known as to what happened to the osprey, where it was taken, or if the report was true. It sounded like the bird was in good condition when it was last seen. The other two youngsters fledged later and nothing was reported about any troubles with them.

Last year, the ospreys were a source of rumor with varying stories about things that happened to them. It has been confirmed that one chick was rescued after it fell out of the nest and is, currently, in the care of Project Wildlife to be used in educational programs. The chick had an old break in his wing and was permanently disabled. There was a rumor that one of the chicks, or the father osprey, had an accident and had to be euthanized, though it can’t be confirmed. The previous year, it was said that one chick was successfully raised in that nest.

Ospreys used to be winter-only residents at Lake Murray until a few years ago. Though they built a nest on that platform many years before that, they never used it for breeding until recently. The nest platform was originally built by SDG&E as a safety measure to prevent the birds from placing nesting material on the actual wires.