Historic osprey nest destroyed; CVPS offers reward

first_imgSource: CVPS An active Lake Arrowhead osprey nest has been destroyed, and Central Vermont Public Service is offering a reward in an effort to find out how. If it turns out that the nest was destroyed on purpose, CVPS is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible. It s unclear whether the nest was intentionally destroyed or blown down by the wind, but it s suspicious, CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said.  We re looking for information from anyone who knows how the nest was destroyed, whether by the hand of a person or Mother Nature. It is illegal to harass migratory birds or disturb their nests, and ospreys are still vulnerable, even though they are no longer endangered in Vermont said Tina Scharf, coordinator of the Osprey Recovery Project of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife.  We want to know what happened.The nest, on an island in the middle of Lake Arrowhead, was on top of a tripod set up for the birds at the CVPS hydroelectric site.  CVPS began working with the state and local resident Meeri Zetterstrom to restore ospreys at the site for more than 20 years ago. This nest site was the first to produce a chick as part of our efforts at Lake Arrowhead, in 1998, said Costello, who manages the company s osprey program.  The ospreys have produced chicks at that site for 11 straight years, and were there when their nest was toppled.  It s unclear whether the birds were still brooding on eggs or chicks had hatched, but either way it s a big loss.Inspection of the site showed that weights on one leg of the tripod were detached, and the structure flipped over and crushed the nest.  The tripod and nesting platform will be restored in time for the 2010 nesting season.In 2008, four pairs of ospreys produced a record nine chicks at Lake Arrowhead, where an ambitious statewide restoration effort began back in 1988.  Zetterstrom, a feisty, warm-hearted nature lover, was the impetus for the effort, which included installation of nesting platforms, educational efforts and political arm-twisting.  Her work inspired a children s book, Meeri Meets the Ospreys, which was donated by CVPS to every second-grader and public library in Vermont in 2001.Restoration efforts ultimately expanded from Lake Arrowhead across the state, and resulted in the removal of the osprey from the endangered species list in 2005.  Ospreys are still protected by state and federal law.Three other osprey nests remain active at Lake Arrowhead, along with dozens of others now scattered across the state.  It all started with Lake Arrowhead, Costello said.  As the birds there produced offspring, they slowly expanded up and down the Champlain Valley, and today ospreys can be seen all across Vermont.Anyone with information about the destroyed nest should call Game Warden Curtis Smiley at 849-2156.last_img

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