On Monday, two juvenile ospreys were taken from their nest by maintenance workers at Calvert County’s Cove Point Park in Lusby. They were later killed as workers were replacing lights at the ball park and packed the baby birds into crate carriers.
According to the Washington Post, experts say the two young ospreys were in the process of fledging from their nests within a day to a few weeks. Ospreys are well known to make their nests on top of lights and utility poles, however most communities wait until the babies leave their nests before doing any maintenance.
Unfortunately, no wildlife rehabilitators had been notified, and according to reports would have been glad to intervene and either encourage the community to wait another week until the birds were ready to fly away or take care of them.
The birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, however the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can issue depredation permits for legally taking protected migratory birds in some circumstances.
Ospreys migrate to Maryland from areas such as Florida, Central and South America to mate and raise their families before flying back to the warmer areas for the winter.
“Ospreys are not considered threatened or endangered or a species of concern in the State of Maryland.
Under a Cooperative Services Agreement with the county, Wildlife Services removed the birds as they were impeding the replacement/repair of the lights. Cooperators are given the opportunity to determine whether or not to involve a wildlife rehab facility. In this situation, they decided not to involve a wildlife rehab facility. The birds were humanely euthanized using methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association.”Tanya Espinosa, public affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Calvert County officials stated the location of the nest had been a risk to the safety and health of people including children using the ball field. The newer poles now being installed include nesting platforms for the birds making their presence safer.
In an update on Wednesday, Calvert County released another statement agreeing that moving forward they will work to ensure the any ospreys removed from county property will be relocated.
How sad that two healthy young birds were never able to ‘fly away.’
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