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DWR officers seeking cause of osprey death

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ST. GEORGE — Division of Wildlife Resources officers are investigating the death of one osprey that had nested at Minersville Reservoir and the disappearance of another.

One of the adult ospreys was found dead along the shore of the reservoir with severe damage to one wing last Wednesday. It is unclear how the bird was injured.

The other adult osprey has been missing for nearly a week, leaving behind two young chicks in a nest. On Monday, DWR biologists and Utah Power employees went to the rescue of the chicks, born sometime in June.

The chicks were hatched in nests built on platforms put up by Utah Power to protect the birds from electrocution. The birds often nest on power poles or roost on the lines and are electrocuted when their wings touch the lines.

During the rescue, one of the abandoned chicks flew away. The other was removed and put in the care of raptor rehabilitator Martin Tyner.

DWR biologist Keith Day said the rescued bird was emaciated. Tyner said it would be several days before he can determine if it will survive.

The other young bird may be in trouble because it may not know how to hunt.

What happened to the two adult birds remains a mystery.

'We aren't sure what killed it, but ospreys do not just fall out of the sky. We think some thoughtless person killed the bird," said Minersville State Park Manager, Norm Forbush.

Ospreys are a protected species and it is illegal to kill them because their numbers are low. The birds have about a four-foot wingspan.

Anyone with information on the ospreys Ospreys can call the DWR at 1-435-865-6100 or Forbush at 1-435-438-5472.